FYI France

File 3: Ejournal and archive

by Jack Kessler,

December 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 December 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:

Please email suggestions for improvements to me at




La Chute, and "digital library" SDI about it


Anyone interested in the French must be worried about France's current economic recession. The numbers have been down, now, for two consecutive trimestres...

So, Selective Dissemination of Information / SDI being an ancient dream of librarians... to become pro-active, with the users, taking information to the customer, rather than just sitting & waiting for the customer to wander in... and "digital" libraries being famous for trying new approaches to this ancient problem, not always successfully...

A challenge: the following is a selection of commentary, in France, on their current economic & social plight -- commentators all of whom nowadays may be read conveniently online -- which is how the French get their news now too, just as the rest of us do, cellphones-plus-Google there as elsewhere becoming gateways.

The challenge for digital libraries is to do it better. How might SDI on all this be done?

The raw material follows -- people all over the world want to read the following folks, now, to understand recent French events -- but "floating to the top of the Google-heap" surely is not the only way this can be accomplished? Examples of digital libraries doing better, than just plugging-in-GoogleSearch, hereby solicited.


The Data


Any & all of the above, in other words, in an economic & social crisis-time such as ours has become, will be of interest to the user of any library, "digital" or other, who has any curiousity at all about France and the French: so provide it! send it to them!

And above all, in these Web 2.0 days --

-- make such "sending" interactive! So too, here, then:


The Tools -- by which mere "data" becomes becomes transformed, via interactivity, into "information"...


All sysops, nowadays, know all of the above tricks and techniques -- they use them at home, or during office downtime from their laptops -- and much of this is very inexpensive or even free, now, freeware or shareware or built-ins / add-ons, easier than before to set up and maintain -- all the systems folks are awaiting is your green light, to implement...

So, consider: a fundamental Web 2.0 idea being feedback -- any feedback -- any reaction whatsoever engages the user, involves him or her, gives the user a "stake" in the digital library activity and in the institution providing the information.

Also, perhaps more importantly, the interactive user can get a "stake" in other activities too: such as a government program, a corporation policy, a community effort or a research project or a family adventure, or a library-sponsored policy discussion, or an Obama Administration... for the latter example see the excellent efforts under way now at

But without interactivity -- without feedback & discussion & user involvement -- more data just means more information-overloaded users.

Bonne fête! Bonne année!


Jack Kessler,






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M. Eiffel

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