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The New Arm of Library Services by ProQuest


Robots have become commonplace in certain industries such as manufacturing. After all, automation increases speed, efficiency, and volume. Increasingly, librarians are looking to such technology to do more for their own patrons. One of the pioneering forces in library automation is GoLibrary, the invention of Swedish manufacturing company DISTEC AB. GoLibrary is essentially a vending machine for library books, a drop box that files and keeps track of all of its materials without human assistance and can operate around the clock in just about any location. Niclas Wigartz, DISTEC AB managing director, says the biggest selling point for GoLibrary is the ability to circulate materials at any time of the day or night. The marketing and service benefits of remote automated locations are clear, but they also require a considerable upfront investment (Library-a-Go-Go machines cost as much as $100,000 each).

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                                  The Palantir Play:                                          Credible Web Sources:                                   U.S. Supreme Court Affirms

                                  A Blend of Open and Closed        Page 16                   The Hunt Goes On            Page 40                     Business Method Patents        Page 48
        ge C E
      Pa E N

                                                                                                                                                                        September 2010

                                                                                                                                                                          Vol. 27 | Issue 8

         Briefs                The Impact of Open Notebook Science
                                                                        culture of secrecy that permeates          And in the interests of openness,      experiment done in his lab freely
                                                                        research today.                        Bradley makes the details of every         available on the web. He doesn’t
         Squarespace                                                       So Bradley was determined                                                           limit this to just a descrip-
                                  With Jean-Claude Bradley              to be more open. Since his                                                             tion, but he includes all the
         $38.5 Million
         in Funding                                                     collaborators were not of the                                                          data generated from these
                                                                        same mind, he severed his ties                                                         experiments too, even the
                               by RICHARD POYNDER       |               with them and, in 2005, he                                                             failed experiments.
                                                                        launched a web-based initia-                                                              He named his new tech-

                                       ean-Claude Bradley is an         tive called UsefulChem.                                                                nique Open Notebook Science
                                       organic chemist at Drexel           As the name implies, the                                                            (ONS), which he explains “is a
         International                 University in Philadelphia.      aim of the initiative was also                                                         way of doing science in which
         Coalition             As with most scientists, Bradley         to work in the world of useful                                                         —as best as you can—you
         Highlights            used to be very secretive. He kept his   science and, today, Bradley                                                            make all your research freely
                               research under wraps until publi-        makes new anti-malarial com-                                                           available to the public, and
                               cation and frequently applied for        pounds. This is potentially                                                            in real time.”
                               patents on his work in nanotechnol-      very useful: Malaria kills mil-                                                           Unlike open access (OA),
                               ogy and gene therapy.                    lions of people each year and,                                                         ONS aims to make raw sci-
                                  However, he asked himself a dif-      since most of those people                                                             entific data (rather than
         CaseLogistix          ficult question 5 years ago: Was his     live in the developing world,                                                          published research) freely
         Sold to               research having the kind of impact       large pharmaceutical compa-                                                            available within hours of
         Thomson               he would like? He had to conclude        nies are disinclined to devote
         Reuters               that the answer was no, and this         much time to developing new
                          4    was partly a consequence of the          treatments.                     Jean-Claude Bradley                                           (continued on page 50)

                               The New Arm of                                                                    Music and the

         $20 Million
                                                                                                                 Cloud: A Match
         in Funding
                               Library Services                         reach and capabilities without open-
                                                                                                                 Made in Heaven
                               by MICHAEL BAUMANN           |
                                                                        ing new branches or hiring new staff.    by BILL GREENWOOD   |
                                  Robots have become common-               One of the pioneering forces in li-
         Celebrates            place in certain industries such as      brary automation is GoLibrary, the           Cloud computing may be head-
         Milestones            manufacturing. After all, automa-        invention of Swedish manufacturing       ing for the mainstream, and a big
                          6    tion increases speed, efficiency, and    company DISTEC AB. GoLibrary is          part of the push is coming from an
                               volume. Increasingly, librarians are     essentially a vending machine for li-    unlikely source trying to get back
                               looking to such technology to do         brary books, a drop box that files and   into the public’s good graces: the
                               more for their own patrons. With         keeps track of all of its materials      music industry.
                               budget cuts hitting libraries just       without human assistance and can             Spotify, a cloud-based music serv-
         NewsMakers            about everywhere, automation is be-                                               ice based in Europe, has been gen-
                          25   coming one way to expand a library’s                  (continued on page 52)      erating “huge buzz” ever since it          News and
                                                                                                                 was founded in 2006, says Jeff Price,
                                                                                                                 TuneCore founder, president, and           updates from
                                                                                                                 CEO. Currently available in Sweden,
                                                                                                                 Norway, Finland, the U.K., France,
                                                                                                                 Spain, and the Netherlands, Spotify        around the world
                                                                                                                 lets users stream millions of songs
                                                                                                                 from all four major record labels          begin on page 26.
                                                                                                                 and more, according to the service’s
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  US POSTAGE PAID                                                                                                             (continued on page 22)
 52        InformationToday
September 2010

      The New Arm                                                                                                                                                         expansion bays that allow the machine
                                                                                                                                                                          to hold more. The maximum size expands
      of Library Services                                                                                                                                                 BranchAnywhere to 50' in length. By plac-
      (continued from page 1)                                                                                                                                             ing the robot on rails, up to 10,000 items
                                                                                                                                                                          can be stored, sorted, and dispensed with
      operate around the clock in just about                                                                                                                              a minimum of reprogramming.
      any location.                                                                                                                                                          In terms of retraining these robots for
         GoLibrary machines have been up and                                                                                                                              library duty, Cullin says the program-
      running in Europe since 2004 and in the                                                                    
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