A minute reflection on libraries and the mobile

Olen menossa Lontoon Online Informationiin marras- joulukuun taitteessa, ja he tekevät pientä haastattelukierrosta puhujista. Tässä vastaukseni.

1. How long have you been involved in the Information industry and what are the most interesting aspects of your current role?

I’ve been working in public libraries since about 1997, but i’ve had a couple of long sabatticals. I guess i should get more mobile myself soonish.

Public libraries, and the public sector in general is in a very fascinating situation now where we are rethinking ourselves around our services, not so much on our political institutions anymore. So it offers great possibilities for observing what’s going on on the society. My most interesting role at the moment is in trying to bring ideas from automated data handling to librarians, to whom a computer has mostly been a tool to make Word -documents with, not to program.

2. Why have you decided to present at this year’s conference?

We’re doing a session together with awesome Åke Nygren from Stockholm, and he invited me. Of course i said yes, because it’s a fantastic opportunity to get out the echo-chamber we public library librarians are trapped in. We keep patting each other on the back, but seldom meet any other sorts of info-pros outside our sphere. Which is a bit odd to be honest, on times like these.

3. Meeting Challenges of a mobile generation is the theme this year – please could you share your thoughts on the surge of mobile devices and applications?

What can i say, i’m writing this answer to this interview on my mobile phone. It’s everywhere, really, and that’s the whole point of it.

People are fiddling with their mobiles all the time, but there is absolutely nothing they can do with the library services provided to them when they are not in the library physically. We’re not contributing to the internet at all, which is dangerous.

The way i see it, we libraries had a really awesome ”mobile” innovation and service back in the day when we started lending out books to people; most of the time spent using library services (ie. usibg our collections) actually happens outside the physical libraries in homes, offices, trains, airplanes etc. but we don’t think about it like that.

4. Finally – where will you be spending Christmas this year?

Not sure yet. Christmas on IRC? Maybe not this time. I wish some place nice, like a couole of years ago when i spent the Chrissy in a pool with a collection of science fiction novels, at a potato farm outside of Brisbane.


Another day in the office

Oh dear, my cubicle is a mess

Today on 25th of July i participated in Library day in the life -campaign. This was already the 7th time for the campaign, and the idea that all sorts of library workers tell about their everyday job for a day (some are reporting all week). The background of the campaign is explained better elsewhere. Today afternoon when i started writing this there were 144 registered reporters and many, many more by the evening. Even more unregistered people were active, especially on tag #libday7 on Twitter.

Ok let’s get to the (everyday) business, this is what i do on this random day in the office:

Just before 9 when i arrived at the library office it seemed that the holiday-season was coming to an end as it seemed more lively than the previous few weeks at the Turku city library’s main building. This day i intended to read some ExLibris Primo documentation and see if i could come up with a way to generate lists of new titles from it via it’s servlet programming interface (API). We are piloting Primo in National Digital Library of Finland -project.

The morning didn’t go too well in that regard, that i was interrupted a few times (quite useful interruptions though, i’m not saying that). First we discussed with my boss how i could get my hands on the access logs of the online catalogue (OPAC) of our Vaski -libraryconsortia for doing some analysis of them. After that we agreed, that i am allowed to travel to and attend Online Information 2011 -conference (where i will be presenting), if i take unpaid leave for it.

11:20 a late morning coffee at the excellent Café Art around the corner.

After coffee i actually managed to spend about 30 minutes looking for and asking for the Primo documentation before the next interruption. This time i had to figure out my own extra salary (päivärahat) for the duration of the IFLA 2011 -conference, where i will be presenting my pet-project Cycling for libraries. I spent a little more than half an hour on this task of calculating my salary.

After that i downloaded primo4j, eyeballed it’s documentation and tried out an example program that came with it.

14 o’clock pasta at Café Sirius.

After food i opened the Primo CSS-stylesheet, which i haven’t really touched during all summer. I have the CSS under version control system (i’m using Bazaar aka bzr), and i reoriented myself to how i had arranged the files there. I also thought about how to organize CSS and other customizable components of the Primo user interface in a version control system (and issue management system), if we wanted to collaborate with other pilot-organizations of the National Digital Library. I wrote a proposal to our NDL-mailing list about finally getting together and starting a collaboration with some such tool.

At about 15:30 i found and installed a version of Firebug that is compatible with my version of Firefox, Firefox 6.0. I started to fiddle with the CSS, and tune it to look like what our ad agency KMG is building our Vaski-consortia’s new website to look like. So i was tuning the colours and layout of our navigation menu etc. It’s quite meditative, really.

I left the office a little after 18, i had tickets to an art performance (which was great, i may add).

The Big Society in the UK

We talked about the ”Big Society” policy in the UK during our Cycling for libraries, at Fürstenberg an der Havel. Big Society is the government policy of David Cameron’s conservative Tory-party in the UK.

The policy has it’s own website, and the Wikipedia-article gives an overview. And try google too.

The basic idea there is to narrow the functions of the public sector, and at least in rhetorics, empower the people by supporting the third sector (volunteering, NGO, etc). This is of course right-wing liberalism and de-regulation.

Perhaps the most interesting take on the Big Society -policy i have seen is the BBC Analysis programme from 20th February 2011, available online (30 minutes).

The ”big society” – the idea that volunteers should take over some of the functions of the state – is the most over-used policy phrase of the moment. But how will the theory work in practice?
Chris Bowlby looks at the big society on the ground in Oxford – from the affluent streets of the City’s North to the deprived estates of Blackbird Leys – and tries to figure out the consequences of expecting communities to do more for themselves.

I truly wish we had had some participants from UK at Cycling for libraries. However i met one quite out-spoken colleague from the UK in Berlin, unfortunately i don’t have his card right here. It would have been fantastic to get first-hand contact to their discussions there; as an anecdote, i have heard that some public libraries in the UK have been handed over to volunteer, religious groups.

From a Finnish library point of view this policy seems quite weird, but i can see the liberalist arguments. We have a regulated public library system here, regulated by a specific law since 1928. However Finland is a nation of NGOs, but all the public libraries are run by the city/municipality and the law states what kind  of education the staff must have. However, there is a lot of manoeuvrability within the framework of the law. Basically the current law states that the city/municipality is responsible for making sure the library services exist, and satisfy the very vague requirements. It certainly does not outrule f.ex. running library services on a totally voluntary basis, as long as the certain requirements are met.

On the other hand, the Finnish public sector organizations are fostering a sort of a ”precariate” of temporary workers and project workers, for whom they can get funding from the state (employment office, social services, ministry of education and culture).

Cycling for libraries is about to begin

Cycling for libraries – Librarians on the move

Tomorrow, on 25th of May we will hop on the Turku→Stockholm ferry, and drive to Copenhagen. As you all know, our Cycling for libraries -unconference begins on 28th of May, and our temporary, mobile thinktank of almost 100 people will bicycle 650km to Berlin, and finally merge into the 100th Deutscher Bibliothekartag.

Organizing a bicycling unconference is a huge (surprisingly huge!) amount of work, but luckily it’s fun and interesting. Many things have been prepared, and some things have been abandoned. After being in contact with our participants and our dear friends along our route, i know for certain that this will be epic.

I cannot wait. Adventure awaits!

Nice Cycling for libraries tour, 110km Helsinki→Porvoo→Helsinki

The official Cycling for libraries cook Pasi Niemi got thumbs up 🙂

Last saturday, on 7th of May we did a bicycle tour from Helsinki to Porvoo and back. Total distance was about 110 kilometers. We were a team of 9 cyclists, plus a 3 -person filmteam and cook. The weather was really sunny, fortunately. I got almost nothing about the event on camera but luckily we had Jonas Tana with us, who is awesome with photographs and we had Kirjastokaista.fi -filmteam working with us. So keep your eyes open for some nice video+photos. I’m sure then you’ll be convinced it wasn’t just eating (like my photos), but sweaty cycling too. A lot of it.

This was kind of a training, prepping and marketing event for the actual Cycling for libraries -event from Copenhagen to Berlin, in the end of this month (*gasp* not far in the future). And in our debriefing with Jukka, we were happy to sum up that everything went quite perfectly 🙂 This day was 110 km, and the longest day of the main event is only about ten kilometers more, on 5th of June when we arrive in Berlin. I’m sure we can do it.

This pre-event was announced via Facebook mostly, and through the word of mouth. We departed from Itäkeskus at about 10 o’clock, and were back there a little after 18, so we spent almost 9 hours overall.

Enjoying and XQ at Söderkulla library

On our way we had a very nice stop at Söderkulla library, and Camilla was kind enough to come and show us the places, even when the library was closed. They’ve had a new library there since 2009, and i really like the way local comic artists, including bicycle-loving Kaisa Leka (see her comicblog too) are contributing to their library in large-size illustrations. We got some refreshments and chats at the library terrace, which i’m sure is a great place to enjoy the library collections on a nice day. The Söderkulla library also has an artotheque, and that’s something i always really appreciate.

Next up, the whole event with 10 times more people and 10 times more days on the road! Less than 3 weeks until the start.

By the way, big thanks to everyone who is giving their support for Cycling for libraries, i’m sure all the participants will find this unique library conference to be memorable experience, which will have long-lasting effects. Librarians, stay on the move.

Library as a game

Rinnakkaisjulkaisenpa toisaalla käydyn keskustelun omat puheenvuoroni myös täällä.

Anybody here read this?

McGonigal’s Reality is Broken: using games to improve the world – Boing Boing

Jane McGonigal: Reality is Broken

Jane McGonigal is one of my favorite thinkers, and it’s a delight to have her philosophy neatly distilled to a single book, her just-published debut Reality Is Broken. McGonigal is the leading practicioner in the use of games to motivate people to solve real problems with their lives and with the wo…

And the vinegar-spitting is here: http://www.edrants.com/jane-mcgonigals-mind-is-broken/

And Maslow mentioned in paragraph 4 LOL 😀

Oh loads of controvery about her, her views and her person. See the Wikipedia article and http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html. Well the way i look at it, purposeful gamification can serve us humans well.

What are the *really* good implementations of gamification that exist/have existed? I’m not thinking about hobbesian social contract now 😉

On a much larger scale than what is really pursue here, the Adam Curtis documentary series The Trap–What Happened to our Dream of Freedom is a great perspective on gamification… but let’s not get to that 😉 Available freely online at Archive.org.

I’ve tried to look at the library user regulations as a sort of a game… how we give feedback to users via fines, anxiety etc. I would love to spar this thinking with somebody, i’ve done some comparison on the rhetorics of the user regulations and i think at least many finnish libraries could do a whole lot better!

I don’t know what i’m talking about but, but i’m spitting this out anyway: are students ”gaming the system” when they are borrowing out books for their exams? The sooner they get their books, more likely the books will have reservations and they start running a fee (which they propably want to pay off) before te exam. On the other hand, if they hesitate too long, the books might run out if the libraries they use don’t have enough copies for everybody.

One other thing i’ve notied that library cataloguers delay cataloguing of materials in the hope that somebody else in the library consortia catalogues them first, and then they can just copy them. I’ve witnessed this in especially materials that are ”annoying” to catalogue… ”The best of Frank Zappa (20 cds, two leaflets, a book, DVD, a popup-book, accesscode to a website plus a poster… you know what i mean). The ”damage” from an individual cataloguers point of view is the boss, who nags if library patrons have reservations for the material.

Here are some game mechanics i’ve seen at libraries. What else? Should we work on these a bit, try to solve these sorts of challenges with a gamer’s mindset?

I don’t know if this sort of things are in the focus of this group (i think hell yes they are), what do you think?

Tackar för Helsinki Midwinter Darkness Camp

It’s serious business when the Nordic library laboratories meet, like this week in Suomenlinna. One more, thanks everyone, it rocked and thanks Kirjastot.fi Labs for pulling this together. You are awesome, allihopa!

This video was filmed by Åke Nygren, while the video-workshop was shooting us. Also, see Flickr for photos and enjoy the slideshow.

Photos of Cycling for libraries -inspection online


Dream a large group of librarians in this picture 🙂



Stadtbibliothek 100m that way


Me and Jukka Pennanen are now in Berlin, designing and preparing the Cycling for libraries -event next summer. We rode a rental car from Copenhagen to Berlin via Nykøbing-Falster, Rostock loads of Danish and German countryside to get a general idea what we are facing here. This has proven to be really good idea, not only is it very useful to get some first hand experience of the journey and meet local colleagues, but also these places are absolutely, absolutely stunningly beautiful!!

My camera and photographic eye does no justice, but i’ve put some photos online for you to see and also for ourselves to remember. Please do enjoy! There’s about 120 photos at the time, and from my photostream you’ll find more photos which are not necessarily so related to this event. I’ve split the photos into a few sets, and will add proper metadata later. And catalog the photos into MARC21 too maybe xD not

Jukka has a much better camera and also a video camera and that material is coming online later. And there’s a plenty of it. But take it from me: Danish and German countryside is fascinating and totally inspiring, there’s plenty of restaurants and cafés everywhere for tasty food and the bicycling route is very good too. And it is needless to say that both Copenhagen and Berlin are awesome places to ride bikes in (especially in good company).

Special thanks to all the fantastic people we have met this far and who have shown their support and taken good care of us: Sonia, Mikkel, Michel, Jan, Robert, Beate, Thoralf and everyone else. You know who you are!

2010 FIFA WorldCup: excellent libraries vs. shit libraries 0-1

2010 FIFA World Cup

I don’t want to diss the host of our EuropeanaLocal workshop in Madrid earlier this week or anything, but let’s face it: the country with shittier public libraries won the football world cup. Care to analyze anyone?

First day of ELAG behind

What really has changed?

The first day of the annual European Library Automation Group (ELAG) -conference in Helsinki is now wrapped up. Great to see so many hardcore information handling experts come together and discuss things.

One thing is more evident now than ever: libraries of today do have programming power and are systematically directing it to tackle a wide variety of problems head-on.

Two more days to go. Keep an eye out for #elag2010/elag2010.

Meanwhile on Wikipedia…

While a lot of people spend their days being worried how unreliable Wikipedia is but at the same time deciding not to do anything about it, Wikimedia foundation is updating the MediaWiki-software that runs the service.

An extension called WikiTrust will be installed on the site, that will indicate trustworthiness with colourcoding. The extension uses a few simple observations that are described in more detail elsewhere. Basically old information is propably more reliable than fresh information that has not yet been subject to public scrutiry and review. Also, an editors reliability can be judged based on the other changes he or she has made to the dictionary. This is neat, because it takes the element of  trust down to the level of words. As an addition to the existing methods to verify information on Wikipedia, such atomity makes any librarian scream ”that’s fantastic!!”

Because Wikipedia’s editorial concept is rather different from what we are used to, we naturally have our doubts toward this kind of a disruption. Nothing wrong in that, in fact very few people were talking about the trustworthines or power of encyclopedias in general before Wikipedia came around! Wikipedia and everything involved with it is very interesting from a librarians point of view. On se hyvin jännä juttu.

(Some of) us librarians have been deeply concerned that this new concept of an encyclopedia is going to undermine the whole foundation of reliable information that we ”used to have” before the internet. However there are no proof of such a golden era ever existed. This is however what some people and organizations would like to believe and would like everyone else to believe too. Sounds kind of christian, all this talk about lost access to paradise of Eden because of our sins, really…

During all this time with Wikipedia on our fingertips, librarians did next to nothing about it. We don’t have the courage to say ”look, all this is just a load of terrible crap, you should read the same information from a book, it’s more reliable that way”. Though as a profession we don’t have much knowledge of information technology like programming (which honestly is kind of awkward), we could have found other ways to make Wikipedia better. Better for our patrons.

We could have funded someone who knows about these programming-things.  We could have learned how wikipedia really works, and taught our collegues and patrons to know about such radical things as the Creative Commons licensing model, the concept of NPOV, the discussion pages, public history of wiki edits, proper citation and all that. We could have made research how our own staff uses the internet and the wikipedia. All things considered, libraries if anyone should be involved in projects like WikiTrust.

In exactly what ways have libraries helped the public  benefit from Wikipedia? I’ve been proposing that public libraries should give Wikipedia Foundation money, because it’s a valuable resource for our staff and our patrons and because we are paying for other on-line encyclopedias, like EB. Nobody is taking me serious, of course, but i sincirely think we should donate to wikimedia. Lots.

So many more useful things to do that complain about the untrustworthiness of Wikipedia!! That ”Edit” -button is a fantastic symbol that we librarians keep failing to comprehend.

Jean-Noël Jeanneney: Google–And the Myth of Universal Knowledge

I happened to come across Jean-Noël Jeanneney’s book Google–And the Myth of Universal Knowledge (A view from Europe) (The University of Chicago Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-226-39577-7) at work in the library. The little book is fascinating and polemic, and i will now publish some notes about it. I’m writing in english, because the topic is of global (or at least pan-European) nature.

Jeanneney might prefer me to write in my native finnish instead and then have this post translated to all the 27 or so  languages officially represented of the European Union. However i am not going to do that. The book itself, whose subject-matter is Google and most specifically Google Book Search, also talks about languages. At time of publishing, Jeanneney was the president of the national library of France and also apparently a true francophone; Bibliothèque nationale de France is not translated in the book, nor is la francophile. Telltale signs of the french 😉 Am i barking the wrong tree, and should be blaming the translator Teresa Lavender Fagan instead? Next time i will write a book, i’ll demand my use of the finnish terms suomen kieli and Kansalliskirjasto not be translated to any other language. Fagan herself notes that “as in any rousing eighteenth-century pamphlet, the question raised are stimulating and controversial, and answers rarely obvious and never easy.” And a pamphlet this 92 -page book truly is.

The book is based on his article “Quand Google défie l’Europe”, published in La Monde in April 2005.

Jeanneney’s text is a wake-up call for Europeans, and indeed to all the people of the world to take heed of Google’s announcement on December 2004 of their Google Library, later renamed Google Book Search. As we all now know, the big G. claimed to digitize 15 million books from collections of several associate academic libraries in the USA and have them organized and available to the public. Books that are have fallen (i personally prefer “risen”) out of copyright to the public domain (pre circa 1920) would be available in full, and snippets of the works still in copyright would be made accessible. Such bold announcement caught the attention of the world, and for a good reason! According to his own words, Jeanneney both started and kept nurturing the discussion and critique of the new Google product. I don’t want to comment on his actual role in the discourse, but Jeanneney sure is not the most modest of writers, i must say.

Jeanneney writes as a librarian, a shepherd of Enlightenment, a frenchman, a francophile, a nationalist and as a proponent of the European Union and pan-european cultural cooperation. He doesn’t try to hide his support for creating and fostering a mythical Great Story of Europe. This interest is inherent in the the very idea of all national libraries, the idea of which is rooted in the French Revolution in the late 18th century.

The selection of source material for Google’s digitalization efforts is of great concern to Jeanneney. Consisting of works published primarily in the english language, combined with Google’s biased search algorighms, the threat of USA’s hegemony to Europe’s precious cultural diversity is getting ever stronger. This is common cultural-imperialist rhetorics, popping up sooner than later when any group of people from outside the USA meet. To counter this, Jeanneney proposes all the nations and cultural institutions of Europe to join their forces by build a common resource of digitized materials.  Not only books are to be included, but also images, sound-recordings and movies too. Since the writing of Google–And the Myth of Universal Knowledge, such a gargantuan project has indeed been initiated and is now being worked on all around the European Union. This is to become  Europeana.

Unlike the Google product guided by commercial interests and market logic making the best known sites ever more popular and suppressing startups and the marginal, Jeanneney writes that this pan-european response must be run on democratic principles. It is to be guided by academics and the public sector, with the associates from private sector kept on a tight leash. Quality, preservation and continuation of this grand project is guaranteed by well-informed public officials in Brussels and elsewhere. Such a resource is built for the benefit of europeans and the human race in general, not some anonymous shareholders. This, according to Jeanneney, reflects the difference between the market-driven USA and Europe, republic in nature.

On selection for inclusion in the European digital library:

In practical terms, what criteria will govern the decision to digitize certain works? With respect to the vast legacy of works now in the public domain, that is, those published before 1923 in the United States (1930 in France), we at the Bibliothèque nationale think we should favor the great founding texts of our civilization, drawing from each of our countries; encyclopedias; journals of scholarly societies; major writings that have contributed to the rise of democracy, to human rights, and to the recent unification of the Continent; writings that have fostered the development of literary, scientific, legal, and economic knowledge, as well as artistic creation… (Two Facets of the Same Aspiration, p. 78)

The selection is material to digitalize will, in Jeanneney’s opinion, be made by national, scholarly councils overseed from Brussels. Their delegates form a pan-European agency,

[which] will no doubt be guided and inspired by the age of humanism and of the Enlightenment; this should protect it from any skepticism or discouragement. (What Structure? What Budget?, p. 81)

By now it is evident that Jeanneney’s book is highly polemic and he author is not afraid to be openly political. This is a very welcome in the library discourse, which at least in Finland is always very cautious, even apolitical. References to the unfortunate rejection of constitution of EU, and even to USA’s infamous warmongering in Iraq are made, and more importantly the effect such actions have had on relations between USA and EU and it’s member states. Jeanneney seems to be a proud european, who doesn’t hesitate to give USA a healthy bashing when opportunity appears 🙂

The text is soljuva and mukaansatempaava (the ever-ignorant french use their own adjectives, i’m doing that too). Even in such compact style some very interesting observations are included: Google was initially funded by Stanford University Library, National Science Foundation (NSF), micropayment needs to be developed to get in-copyright publications on-line, and that the book is the only medium that has always remained (almost) free of advertisements. The latter is about to change with Google Book Search, as Jeanneney points out.

Also some historical cases of protectionism are presented in the book. The french movie industry was supported, subsidised and eventually saved after the World War II from the invasion of movies from USA by methods that are out of the question now (btw. i’m avoiding the term “american”, since most of America exists outside of the U.S.A.; not all states of America are united as we all know). In 1948 France adopted an annual quota of 121 foreign movies, such measures are out of the question on the net. Just look at how China or othet regimes are combating cultural imperialism… not at all fashionable, now is it. Not from our perspective anyway.

Passages like this are sure to raise ones brow:

We Europeans are a republic. Only the foundation of popular involvement will ensure success. When a civilization believes in itself, it has a duty to invent the means to survive and to widen its circle of influence. It performs it’s duty better if it fully understands what is at stake. (p. 86)

Some of the blatant library-elistism goes like this:

Let’s consider the way a reader might use a traditional library, in which he or she is at liberty to wander around. The library’s organizing principle is seen in the way the books are arranged on the shelves, an arrangement that strongly influences what the reader might find. Imagination is not inhibited but stimilated. The project, the reader’s questions and hypotheses, engage in a productive dialogue with books grouped earlier by others, following well thought-out and long-matured principles These principles are, of course, always somewhat arbitrary; their development is necessarily outdated; their justification is temporary, in the endless flow of knowledge; but they result from an attentative thought process, and above all are explicit and well grounded.

And this is exactly the sort of system that should be transposed onto a virtual library, whatever it might be. Hasty classification of a list, following obscure criteria of classification, must be replaced by a whole range of modes, classification modes for responses and presentation modes for results, to allow for many different uses. (Disorganized Bulk–an Absolute Danger, p. 71-72)

The very idea of a dynamic hypermedia network, where the material itself defines and weaves itself to whatever context it sees suitable, is altogether discarded. Jeanneney wants to put material on the internet into a cataloguing system developed by librarians. He seems to fantasize about some sort of a World Wide Catalogue to replace World Wide Web. If the internet is ever to be re-arranged by librarians, i hope to die that very same day!! What a horrible destiny gasp!

As ever so often among librarians, the role of Google is at the center. Google is seen to have a dominating effect on what material people have access to. Sometimes you even come across statements, that Google has the defining monopoly what information people will or will not see. Though i do agree to a limited extend, this google-trauma of librarians always omits the whole existence of the most fundamental feature of the web: the hyperlink.

All-in-all the book is a praise of Europe, and also that of the European bureocratic system. The belief in need for regulation and state control over the markets comes out strongly in the text, and of course we’ve heard all about it during these turbulent times, bank crisis and regression. The author optimistically sees the Google Book Search as an incentive get Europe’s act together and organize co-operation of cultural institutions to promote european culture. The first steps that led to the political will to really form such a project are described in the beginning of the books.

I urge anyone interested in libraries, digital libraries, cultural politics, Google, Google Book Search or Europeana to read Jean-Noël’s book.

One last quote for you to ponder:

The Internet is a world of decentralized networks and we should take advantage of that. But those networks are formed according to guiding principles that governments must encourage, influence, and regulate. Flexibility, reactiveness, freedom of imagination are creation are indispensible, but so are validation and oversight for the collective interest. The libertarian spirit that appeared intrinsic to the Internet in the beginning seems to be stepping back in favor of a better balance.

Some more links to take a look at the book: at Helsinki ”Metropolitan” libraries, Google Book Search, LibraryThing, Amazon. This is also a good for opportunity for you to compare the usefulness of library webservices to other services on the book metadata-market :\