FYI France

File 3: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler,

October 15, 2008 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on September 15, 2008.

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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:

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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Recent books, on libraries and other things-digital in France


A selection: as offered periodically here, ever since back in the good old / bad old days when there were libraries and there was digital and the two rarely met. So, the books & the data & the Nets & the Web, & the users, & the delicts & the sanctions --

-- democracy... French versions, and / as vs. American versions, of the "citoyen lambda"...

-- Anne-Marie Bertrand is the directrice of the French national library school, the École nationale supérieure des sciences de l'information et des bibliothèques / ENSSIB, at Lyon...

-- "La Grande Numérisation" -- I like that... -- there's a wonderful phrase the scientists use, "The Great Dying", about the comet (?) event which killed off the dinosaurs and darkened the Earth... cheerful folks, scientists...


A general note:

Unquestionably, now, the Internet has become the place to find the very latest information about so many subjects, particularly about a technically-inclined subject such as "digital libraries". Nowadays online is where researchers and developers in the subject communicate, do research, publish information, discuss. So anyone wanting to know "the latest" needs to get online...

But online is not where the most thoughtful considerations of the subject appear, at least not yet. For an overview, or a history, or a considered analysis, a book still is best.

That last is for two reasons, at least: the author has more time to write it, and the reader has more time to read it -- time is the enemy to thought, online, many folks enjoy the stimulations there but still are ill-equipped to handle the distractions.

Online is not a place, for example, where a sentence gets re-read: eyes there are so busy "scanning" -- links & tabs & popups & other delectations -- that the clock ticks by and the brain is happy if the eye registers a few words per sentence.

The comparative poverty of the book -- yes those old medical texts did offer a few "popups", and many books do offer nice pictures and fulsome-looking footnotes, but... -- makes for greater concentration on words, and perhaps thereby on thoughts. And, occasionally, when the "brain" tells the "eye" that it didn't fully "get" something, a line may get re-read, and that thought much better understood... Doesn't happen that way online.

So, read it in a book. There's not as much data but perhaps greater information, in there -- and greater understanding, even if the data does get a little out-of-date.

Our modern bankers ought to have read more on their subjects in books, maybe, instead of managing their information-overload only on Blackberry screens. There's such a thing as being too current.



Jack Kessler,






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