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I am frantically studying for my first “quiz” (feels more like a quarter-term exam) in my Tech of Info class, therefore this post will be quite short. But I had to post this. One of the topics I’m studying is the history of computers. Charles Babbage is widely given credit for first coming up with the idea of a mechanical device which would make computations – which at the time, he termed a “difference engine” – aka the first glimmerings of a plan to make a computer.

Well, in doing some Wikipedia research on Mr. Babbage and his ‘accomplice’ Lady Ada Lovelace (the first programmer ever!) I came upon a link for a book entitled The Difference Engine… Upon clicking the link I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is actually a novel based upon a delicious premise — the premise of What if computers (as we know them) had come into being earlier in time? How would history have been different?

This is definitely a book to place on my GoodReads or my Library Thing to-read list!


On my library school listserv I recently encountered an email that said that this article would be of interest: Librarians under new management – Yahoo! News.

Scary article… It basically talks about how, all over the country, many communities are choosing to outsource their libraries to a private, for-profit firm, as they can no longer afford to run the libraries. The private firms make changes such as staff reduction and open-hours reduction. So far, the local governments reserve the right to charge fines and decide other borrowing policies, but the books are chosen by the private firm. Let that sink in. Over time, how will that change how library collections develop? Will there be built-in, hidden-from-the-public censorship? How much do you want to bet?

October 2007
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