November 15, 2006 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on November 15, 2006.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. And you can pay via PayPal, on the FYI France homepage:
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Among the many entities claiming to be "digital libraries", nowadays, few have better claims than does the BM Lyon. Since the earliest years of the automated catalog, and the advent of email, and the spinning of The Web, the Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon has been in the forefront -- and they're not just a "public library", as they maintain archives, digital exhibitions, and a large and famous rare books collection there, too --
3 million documents, about: Bibliothèque de la Part-Dieu ............2 365 289 Bibliothèques d'arrondissement ............435 178 Bibliobus et service aux collectivités ....118 528 dont : livres...................................2 478 871 volumes disques et textes enregistrés .............183 618 vidéocassettes et DVD ......................39 979 cédéroms ....................................4 916 estampes, photographies, partitions .......195 091 dont : les collections patrimoniales : 12 455 manuscrits dont : 50 manuscrits mérovingiens et carolingiens 510 manuscrits médiévaux (200 enluminés) 1 336 313 livres dont : incunables......................1 300 XVIe siècle....................20 000 XVIIe siècle...................65 000 XVIIIe siècle.................115 000 XIXe siècle (jusqu'à 1920)....300 000 autres documents 191 163 estampes et photographies 57 000 documents en langue chinoise 120 290 disques noirs (dont 15 000 "78 tours")
Well, now comes another idea, from Lyon...
How many of us leave our morning dose of "The News", which arrives on our computer screens, unsatisfied? As many as used to complain about the inadequacy of newspapers, perhaps... Or nearly as many, maybe, as find the supposed breadth and depth of the increasingly-horrible TV Network News to be narrow and shallow...
So... the idea of the librarians at the BM Lyon is to provide that breadth and depth to "The News". On the library website one now may find "Points d'actu!" / "The News, In Depth": an ejournal - format illustrated magazine, in which the library's information specialists present the next step, to the day's news stories -- additional resources, and context, and places to go to research behind and beneath and beyond the morning headlines.
The BM Lyon's Bertrand Calenge describes the motivation:
"Have you noticed that current events are displayed by many media simultaneously, in the same terms? ...many people with inquiring minds are not satisfied by this quick information, and they desire to go deeper. So we have built a 'bibliographical magazine' which offers different points of view about these current events : about Lebanon, local Lyon events, Swedish elections..."
-- and the procedure takes advantage of both traditional library strengths, in collections and selection and most of all in "user analysis", and new "digital libraries" timeliness and efficiencies -- Calenge, again,
"...the librarians select titles of books, movies, and also web sites, for satisfying the user's curiosity, and simultaneous with the events."
-- the procedure,
"There are about 8 new papers each week, from the same librarians who post answers in the Guichet du Savoir [the BM Lyon's online information service, described in the May 15, 2004 issue of FYI France, available at, fy040515.htm] and who serve the public in the library... papers are archived after 40 days."
-- and there are special reports,
"'Points d'actu !' also offers special reports covering longer time-frames, the 'Dossiers Repères' : for example the report on Lyon's famous 'Parc de la Tête d'or', at http://www.pointsdactu.org/article.php3?id_article=259"
-- and reviews -- and even that key "digital libraries" concept, interactivity,
"There also are critiques of new books, DVDs, music -- and the public may vote and comment on these titles"
-- and of course there are news feeds, too,
"Of course, many rss markers are present"
-- although the entire point, of "Points d'actu !", is to broaden and deepen those...
At http://www.pointsdactu.org/ today, for example, one finds:
-- and at "Coups de Coeur" there are librarians' recommendations and reviews, of film, youth literature, essays, music, novels -- and at "Dossiers repères" full research files, today covering,
And, being librarians, the BMLyon *archives* things: Calenge,
"And of course all papers (even those archived) may be retrieved through our 'meta-catalog' --
-- which retrieves catalog notices, responses posted by the Guichet du Savoir [the library's online information service], digitized images in the collections, information on the general website... and the research 'News, In Depth' presented in 'Points d'actu !'..."
* The Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon's main website:
* The BM Lyon online information service, Le Guichet du Savoir:
* The "The News, In Depth" service reported here, Points d'actu !:
The frustrations of "information overload" grow, they do not shrink -- that seems to be axiomatic, in our new digital information universe.
And the tools and filters offered to enable us to cope are not always trustworthy: try searching for "anti-Chinese" materials, in some search engines, or "Nazi memorabilia" in others -- or for "sex", which nowadays gets defined in strange and convoluted ways, by search engine algorithms which do not always show us how they make their decisions... The nets are not value-free, no wertfrei, nor is the Web, nor is digital information: nothing is.
So the solution may reside in context: in exactly what the BM Lyon is doing, in providing its interesting new "Points d'actu!" News-in-Depth service. The background and foreground and history and surroundings, of a news item, may be more significant and helpful to us -- in these "soundbite" days of "managed news" -- than the daily news item itself.
Certainly it seems already to be the case in television: there, network domination seems now to _assure_ us of bias, just as advertising revenue domination of those same networks assures us of superficiality, too. But the Nets now have their problems as well: try your Yahoo home page, or recently even your Google home page -- some websites offer Infotainment force-feeding, others offer vast varieties of little bitty newsfeeds, blogs and rss, "Too much information!" as The Police once wailed...
The BM Lyon is doing all of us a vast service, then: bringing the traditional user-friendly guardians of our "context", librarians, back together with the vast data flood of our Internet "news" features -- and bringing us together with that "context".
If the effort makes more of us stop to analyze, or even simply pause to realize that this needs to be done, it will be better than "just reading the headlines", which is all that most of us can handle nowadays in our 500-Channel-World.
Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://email@example.com/ (BIBLIO-FR archive), or http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/ or http://www.fyifrance.com . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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