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  1. Bovas's Avatar
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    #1
    Well here goes, my first post as Librarian! I figured as what is going to happen to the Library here is a complete new beginning, it would be best to start a brand new thread rather than have any new ideas we have mixed in with the other thread which LOTR kindly moved over from AM earlier on today.

    Before I set out my vision for the library I just want to make one thing clear. Although I am 'the Librarian' as it were, this Library will be a team effort. This is not to say that it was in the past but, part of the reason it has been in limbo for so long is, in my view, that all the work or the bulk of the work had been left to one individual which was an insane amount of work for one person. This Library will be for the plaza, by the plaza and I encourage everyone regardless of length of membership, rank or any other factor to come forward with their ideas and share them here. All are welcome.

    That said, where do we go now? Well, the thread in AM had some rather useful ideas as to the progress of the Library which I will try and incorporate into my vision of the library which is set out below:

    My Vision

    First, something that came out loud and clear from the AM thread was that the encyclopedia format of the Library in the past was now outdated. As many have said, there are countless other sites out there which have that format and there is nothing that we can do with that format that wouldn't make the library just another of them and, as I said, I want this library to stand out from the herd. So, what do we do if not the encyclopedia format? Well, it was proposed by I believe wiebkes among others that we have a new format which incorporates material from all over the plaza. The lore forums, the Regions, the COLP so that it is quite literally a plaza library and not just another Tolkien encyclopedia. Obviously, this encompasses a lot of material and, in order for it not to be confusing and to maximise its potential, I am proposing that the new library be split into sections. Just like a RL library is. Something like this:


    The Annals of History
    This section would comprise of material from the plaza's history and the
    Archives. I know the archive links are there but I really do think the plaza has a history
    to be proud of and bringing that history to the forefront of current plaza life would be a really
    neat way to make this library a real plaza library. So new members can see what the Old
    Plaza was like back in the day.

    LoreMasters
    This section would comprise of material from the Lore Forums. That is to say BL, AL, the Books, People and Races, Languages, Tolkien the Man and (depending on permission fromits contributors) the Scholars Forum. It will not be a comprehensive catalogue of everything that goes on there however. What it will be isa collection of essays/articles based on the most interesting and lively threads in the forums. For example,there is an ongoing thread regarding the psycology of Gollum/Smeagol in AL. Older members will know this has been going on for some time and this is where the library would be most useful. It would draw together that discussion with its myriad of ideas and theories into one article so that people who haven't been here since the genesis of the discussion can participate in it more fully. This would also, perhaps, have a positive effect on how the lore forums are viewed. I know when I first entered them it was a bit intimdating simply ebcause there were discussions going on that covered masses of ground and so it was very difficult to get involved in them. Thus, in addition to this section being living proof of my addage "enlighten not inform" by providing fresh inisghts as well as old ones into matters of lore, it will also make some of the more complex discussion in AL and so forth more accessible to new members. In this way, the Library enhances the plaza as well as the other way round.

    Creative Writing
    This section is where COLP material comes in. How many stories, poems, photos, paintings and similar creative projects are on the plaza in this forum and others? Alot and it is my view that these should be stored for posterity in our library in this section. Again, it will not be an exhaustive listing of every single item but of the best art and compositions that are to be found in the COLP. A real chance for it to shine!

    The Lands of Middle Earth
    This section will take advantage of the wealth of activity going on in our regions. Since they were revamped, I have seen some pretty cool stuff going on in them and each region has a distinctive character of their own which I really would like to see in the Library.

    Right, that is the structure as I see it. It is by no means set in stone and I am more than happy to revise it (in fact I very likely will revise it as we go on) but it should be enough to give you a brief idea of where I want the library to go. Right, now on to the $1000000 question, how do we get there?

    Well, the answer is simple. Members. I cannot do this on my own and as I started by saying, I want it to be made by the plaza for the plaza. Something else I want to improve on from previous incarnations of the Library is the accuracy of its content. Some of the articles in the library were not 100% accurate and our new library needs to be. Therefore, I have sent PMs to three of the plaza's most knowledgable lorists who will act as, essentially, quality control. When content issubmitted, I will check it over and they will to and, if necessary, facts will be tweaked so that it is 100% accurate. I know it was suggested that "group editting" might work, however with the sheer volume of material we will have I can honestly see that getting out of hand and being more of a help than a hindrance so, for now, only the aformentioned people will be doing this kind of work.

    Coders are also needed. I want to make the Library more user friendly and organised. I will draw up some diagrams of the kind of the thing I am after but I really want three-four coders so if anyone is good at coding and is willing to assist here then do drop me a line via PM.

    Most importantly however, is content! As I said at the beginning anyone and everyone can submit content and I would encourage people (when the time comes) to do so. Right now though, I will wind up and open the discussion up to everyone else. It is, after all, for the members this library and so I would welcome any comments/questions you may have.



  2. Saranna's Avatar
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    #2
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Looks good Thorin (have PM'd you)
    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

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  3. Firiel Silverswan's Avatar
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    #3


    Thorin - I was just wondering if you also wanted a general editor to check the entries for grammer, etc. I know that some of the best posters on the plaza aren't native english speakers, so they might have a way of saying things that we as Plazaites understand, having read their posts for so long, but an outsider looking at the library might not understand. And we all could use a grammer checker every once in a while (especially those late-night, last-minute RP posts)
    I'd be more than happy to help out in that capacity if you want me to.




  4. Thorin: I am well adept in what the Cottage got to offer, since the last two years. Perhaps I can be off help....

  5. Radagast The Br0wn's Avatar
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    #5
    Are you still going to be continuing the encyclopaedia content? I'd like to offer my services in any way possible in that area...

  6. wiebkes's Avatar
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    Thorin Firehelm your vision sounds great!

    For your need of coders... we have a subforum jsut for coding things. So I bet if you write a message to Dain specifiing what you would like to have he will post it there for you and who ever of "us" coders (I am kind of on exam break that's why I say "us" and I haven't done any coding here yet) sees a chance to work it out will step into it.
    For the time being I could offer you to check on your wishes if they seem to be realizable in code - and what from a coding point of view might be necessary to realize them possibly including breaking them down in manageable pieces - and try to translate your wishes in something a coder would understand easily, that is if you could wait for answers until 23rd of may when I have had my DBA exam (2nd attempt)... Until then I just come to visit and when ever an idea pops up in my mind I'll post it (becoming more a problem-finder-poster than a content-poster lately but I hope to turn that one around soon).




  7. Gwerin's Avatar
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    #7
    A fine first post,Thorin, as Librarian. A promising start!

  8. Aisil's Avatar
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    #8


    I`m a coder, but I`m not sure how much time I can dedicate at the moment... so keep me as a backup


  9. halfir's Avatar
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    #9

    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Excellent post Thorin- you will certainly have my backing although time constraints imposed by other Plaza commitments will not make me a very available resource- but I like your vision.Edited by: halfir
    He that would foil me must use such weapons as I do, for I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble.

  10. Bovas's Avatar
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    #10


    Firiel - Thank you for your offer. At the moment that's something I want to try and cover myself. My general expectation is that members submitting content will look their work over before submitting it. However I do recognise that spotting things which need altering in ones own work is not always easy. As it stands we have four editors for articles and I think adding a fifth might be overkill.

    Lady Aikari - Brilliant, I shall almost certainly be calling on your expertise

    SarumantheWhite - No, at this time the encyclopedia type appoach has been discontinued. However, the knowledge that one needs (that is to say the lore and so on) in order to write an encyclopedia will definitely be of use so please do stick around because you shall be more than useful

    wiebkes - Ah thanks for that that would indeed be most useful. What I shall do then is type up my notes here of what I want for people to comment on and then between us we can tweak it. Then when a layout has been agreed I'll pop it into that coding forum to see what coders feel about it.

    Aisil - Duly noted

    halfir - Thank you very much hafir! Don't worry about time constraints, it's good to have you on board regardless of in what capacity


  11. wiebkes's Avatar
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    #11


    Tjorin Firehelm just send me an email or MSN (after 1700 your timezone) when ever you're ready



  12. <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Thorin: Cool. In need you can find me inthe COLP, or just take dive into my contact details sometime. I leave itto you when you have time available(your own agenda). Edited by: Lady Aikári

  13. Raven's Avatar
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    #13


    I'm an (amateur *g*) coder, and I can also proofread things if you do end up needing more people for that

  14. Bovas's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">right gang just to keep you in the loop. Thanks to geordie, Saranna and Gwerin we now have our three lore specialists. What will happen now is I will write up my plan for how I want the library to look and I want as much feedback on it as I can so that we can get it finalised and off to the coders ASAP. It shall be up tomorrow morning sometime

  15. Saranna's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Great stuf Thorin. I have to start by saying I'm going away tomorrow for a few days! But will check this thread out as soon as I get back.
    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

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  16. Bovas's Avatar
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    #16


    right chaps here is my vision for the Libraries' layout, it might be a little ambitious but if you don't aim for the top you don't reach it I always say. So, here goes:

    Clicking on the library link will take the user to a picture of an old style library with shelves stacked with books and parchment scrolls on either side. In the centre is a big oak writing desk with the Red Book on it. When the user clicks on the book the camera zooms in and it opens revealing the contents page that has the links to the different sections of the library on it in ink writing. The entire library I want to be modeled on the Minas Tirith Library with each page being a different wing looking out over the city. Each page will have a similar layout to the opening page but there will be different books on the table which when clicked on open and reveal different content.




  17. wiebkes's Avatar
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    #17


    That sounds great Thorin - it will be quite some coding behind and to be honest just be thinking about it I would love to add some sound to it like the sound of turning the pages (even though you never hear it as loud when reading a book in real life...)

  18. Aisil's Avatar
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    #18




    You`d have to be able to mute the sounds though, if you want to add them.. there are few things worse for usability than sounds you can`t turn off



    Edited by: Aisil Laegiel

  19. <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Thorin: That is an ambitious endeavour. Sounds cool to mouse through such a library *g*

  20. Winddancer's Avatar
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    &lt;&lt; This post just made by geordie made me wonder if there even is any reliable encyclopedia out there. I know you said that idea was discontinued, but its worth keeping in mind if ever decided on to try doing again. The thing that could set us apart from the others, could be ours is with citations and more true than the "junk" found on many of the other sites. Worth keeping in mind


  21. Winddancer, my personal thoughts about that would be that it would be more useful to have accurate factual information contained in the first two sections Thorin outlined above, but worked into the more dynamic contexts of Plaza history and 'enlightening' pieces growing from Plaza discussions. One of the basic flaws of any encyclopaedic approach is the desire to shoehorn things into a particular style, and while nuance might not be completely eliminated in an enc., I don't think that style is as well suited for many Tolkien related topics.



    Plus, it would hopefully be more interesting for the reader as well as more informative to read a piece that was actually enlightening about a topic, rather than simply informing on it.
    It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.

  22. Winddancer's Avatar
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    #22


    True, though sometimes one might just want to know who Gandalf was or what an istari is


  23. Bovas's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Windy - I am planning to have an index so that people can use it to look up a quick fact or name if they wish to. I am just very concious of moving things away from the old style plaza library which hasn't worked as it should for a long time.

  24. Eldorion's Avatar
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    #24




    Quote Originally Posted by Winddancer

    &lt;&lt; This post just made by geordie made me wonder if there even is any reliable encyclopedia out there. I know you said that idea was discontinued, but its worth keeping in mind if ever decided on to try doing again. The thing that could set us apart from the others, could be ours is with citations and more true than the "junk" found on many of the other sites. Worth keeping in mind
    Online there is already The Thain's Book, and in print there is Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth. As I've said before, I don't see much - if any - new ground in encyclopaedias, as both of the ones I mentioned have very extensive citations and coverage. While neither is perfect, it's highly unlikely that any encyclopaedia, including one on the Plaza, would be perfect either. That said, I'm still interested (about a year after first asking this question) what people think an encyclopedia Library would have to set itself apart from something like The Thain's Book.



    Edited by: Eldorion Dagda

  25. Winddancer's Avatar
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    Well, we dont actually have to make a brand new encyclopedia. Perhaps a smart idea could be to have links to those our lorists think are pretty accurate. I just think having some acess to an easy "look up" place, where you can go and see what wraiths are, or what an orc is and so on, is something really benefitial. I think the ideas Thorin has made are great and fully support them, but being a lore noob and not knowing which is true and which isnt, I am one of those that resort to wikipedia as well, not knowing its wrong. I know we cant cover it all fully, but say in this new library we have links to Thains Book (something I had never heard of before) makes it easier for us newbs who just want to do a quick look up and not necessarily be looking for several mega long debates like whether balrogs have wings or not :P (sorry halfir, had to mention that one! ;P)

  26. Eldorion's Avatar
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    #26
    Windy -



  27. geordie's Avatar
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    #27
    I wasn't familiar with the 'Thain's Book' site. After only a couple of minutes' perusal, I find that there isn't an entry for Istari, but there is one for Itaril - and in the 'Sources' section we find the legend:

    "Proper names of characters, places, creatures and things are the property of Tolkien Enterprises"

    - which I don't think is true. TE will tell you it's true, but I think that Tolkien's heirs and successors (including his publishers) would have something to say about that. (Besides; Saul Zaentz's company isn't called 'Tolkien Enterprises' any more; it's 'Middle earth Enterprises' now.)

    And a further glance shows me that both this site, and the 'Encyclopdia of Arda' to which it makes a link, both make it clear that they're not complete. That's not much use to me.

    As for me; I prefer books. Foster's Guide comes from humble beginnings; he was beavering away in the background of the Tolkien Journal (I think), with stacks of index cards, for several years before his first book 'A Guide to Middle-earth' came out in 1971. A great boon to Tolkien fans. His successor to that book, 'The Complete Guide to Middle-earth' is recognized as one of the essentials; Christopher tolkien uses it.

    I wouldn't describe it as an encyclopedia, by the way; more an A-Z of Tolkien's Middle-earth works up to and including Silm, with accurate page citations. It also includes entries for The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and The Road Goes Ever On; which, again, I find very useful.

    Foster didn't update his book for Unfinished Tales, nor HoMe. For one thing, it would be too great a task. For another, Christopher's indicies for those books (and esp. the one-volume HoMe index compiled by my friend Helen Armstrong) have made such additions unnecessary. Then, for even more additional background (for LotR at least), there's Hammond and Scull's 'The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion'.

    So far I've only been addressing one aspect of Tolkien's works, but there's a lot more to Tolkien's fiction than Middle-earth, and a lot more to Tolkien's life and works than just his fiction. We at the Plaza have to address this, and here it's no good going to the likes of Wiki for 'research', because when it comes to facts on these topics, internet sources are so downright bad as to be virtually useless.

    To sum up: we students of Tolkien's works can do without going to 'middle men' on the internet. That is not 'research'. We can find all we need to know from the printed word. As I see it, our task in the Plaza Library is to produce quality work, based soundly on the books written and edited by the Tolkiens, and reliable sources such as Foster and Scull-Hammond. But Plaza library users ought to be encouraged to _read the books for themselves_. That is where research takes place; not in front of a screen.



    Edited by: geordie
    It's all in the books...

  28. Winddancer's Avatar
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    I agree that we should encourage people to research and to read it for themselves. But unfortunately not all of us have access to all the books. I certainly dont. Yes we can go to the library (and have them ordered home, as they dont have all here in mine). But this takes time and sometimes you just want to know which istari was brown, you know?


  29. Bovas's Avatar
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    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">So far I've only been addressing one aspect of Tolkien's works, but there's a lot more to Tolkien's fiction than Middle-earth, and a lot more to Tolkien's life and works than just his fiction. .
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">geordie, eloquently put as always and that sentinment is at the heart of what I want to do for the library. I want something that could only have been produced on the plaza. An encylopedia can be produced anywhere by anyone but our plaza library has to be unique to us I have no objection to having an index so that people can "know which Istari was brown" but we have to move on from encyclopedias that simply catalogue information. Something else I want to do is incorporate none Middle Earth materials on Tolkien in our library as well that contains articles on his life and times apart from his Creation. The question is what do we do now. First of all, I note that some have said my vision for the library layout is ambitious, from a coding POV is it too ambitious? Or could it be done and done well?

    From a none coding perspective I want to start working on content for each section. Could those who wish to and have time to post their ideas and what they want to be in each section knowing the headings for each section (see above). Edited by: Thorin Firehelm

  30. Radagast The Br0wn's Avatar
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    #30


    In terms of Lore Masters, how I would do it if I were charged with creating the plaza would be to just pick the top 3 or top 5 most insightful threads for each topic. For example, there's a thread on Saruman at the moment in Advanced Lore which can easily be in the top 3 or 5. Then, while providing a link to said thread, I would also post up a sample bit from each thread. So, in the aforementioned example, one could pick a lengthier post with a whole load of information in it, just to give the searcher a taste of what's to come.


    I would say that that's probably the same I'd do for Annals of history. As for the other two parts, I don't actively participate in those forums, so I can't recommend something for them.



  31. Fairy Nuff's Avatar
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    I'm no expert lorist to match those already working with you, but I have spent a lot of time in the Kingdoms in the past 9 and a half years and would love to generate some content for this aspect of the Library. I have as much time as you would like to demand of me.

    Can you give me an idea of how you see this section working? I'm thinking a bit like the old Kingdom Pages?

  32. Bovas's Avatar
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    #32
    Saruman the White - That seems like a very good idea. Particularly with threads like the Saruman one which have a) been on the go for some time andb) contain a good deal more information than one could include in its entirety in a summary. What I also want to have are full essays either original compositions or ones adapted from existing threads on topics somewhat similar to what with have in the Scholars Forum. Kind of a like a "Plaza Scholars" section.

    Fairy Nuff - My main idea for how this section works is The Hobbit. You know how it is narrated by Bilbo? Well reports on Kingdom goings on I want done in character just like the Red Book. Say you were doing one for instance. Either you could do it as Fairy Nuff the Ent or if you have a character you usually RP with other than Fairy Nuff than as that character. As the reader proceeds through the section I want them to get a really good flavour of what has been going on in the Regions and also what will be happening in the future. Somewhat similar to the old KPs but this section will be an on going one in as much as the content will change every so often as events progress.

  33. Saranna's Avatar
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    Some great ideas in the short time I've been away. I agree, Thorin, that Saruman the White has an excellent idea there. But we do need to be more accurate than any other site! For example, we need some sort of indexed basic facts sectionthat will help people to avoid eaily made errors like forgetting that while the plural of Nazgul is Nazgul, the singular of Istari is not Istari (or at leastI don't think it is! )
    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

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    But great achievements raise a monument
    Which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
    George Fabricius, 'In Praise of Georgius Agricola'

  34. Bovas's Avatar
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    #34
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">I appreciate that point Saranna and I do agree with it. Howver my problem with it is drawing the line somewhere. What do we define as "basic facts" before long that section could get extremely lengthy and encyclopedia like which is precisely what we are trying to move away from.

  35. Fairy Nuff's Avatar
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    #35


    I see, so I could cover the recent spring festival in the following manner;

    "Isiliyan wandered through the crowded Riddermarket as people bustled by, eagerly anticipating the start of the seasonal Badger Chase."

    Or would you want it more told from first person perspective?

    "Due to my diminuative stature I had some trouble seeing above the heads of the human spectators as we crowded into the Riddermarket to watch the Badger Chase."



  36. Bovas's Avatar
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    #36
    definitely the second one. It sounds just like Bilbo's embellishments in The Hobbit, I love it!

  37. wiebkes's Avatar
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    #37


    Thorin Firehelm I'll just play around abit about technical solution ideas (whenever I find some time to spare... thankfully it is soon monday and I hope I can then prove that I am no balrog just to get some time of to spend at such lovely places as the plaza instead of reading for an exam):

    From the technical point of view how would you like to see the library work:
    1) as a sub-forum with several sub-fora itself
    2) as a side of its own, connected to the plaza of course but kind of like an
    "library application" and a forum "ask the librarian for help / suggestions"

    I haven't been that much into the old library so basically I have no clue how it worked then.

    But for the "library application" the idea with the entrace-picture and the opening books and possible a picture of a librarian which one could click on to get to the forum "ask the librarian for help" - possible to an instruction page first and if the instructions are not enough than one could click further to get into the forum ... could work quite well.
    For the library application we would need some coding:
    1) the application everybody could see
    1.1) Mainsite
    1.2) Index-site(s) for the different books
    2) an access to deliver new entries only for the head-librarian (you) and possible some "library-employees"
    2.1) functions to make the administration of the library as simple as possible (things like "add entry", "modify entry", "delete entry", "add link" ...)
    3) database access (somewhere we need to store the entries) - possible within the existing database but in new schemas so that we do not mess up with the forum-pages

    It could prove quite some work to get such an application coded - but on the other hand side we would get a really nice library I think and it might get easier to maintain such an library-application than a library-sub-forum (not to sure about that but it should work...)

    For the question "Encyclopedia or not":
    If we get a nice working library with for example articles like "Peeling the Onion - Tom Bombadil" and including there for example a short introduction of whom we are talking about I think we get more than what we would get with a seperate encyclopedia.
    And just thinking about the original idea of having a book which opens when somebody enters the library and shows a way through it - I would think one could get some sections like "People of ME" "Charaters created by Tolkien not related to ME" (for like Farmer Giles) and than somewhere within the sections indexes to articles on ... we will get a library-encyclopedia I think. We won't have what other sides call an encyclopedia but would have kind of "whole books" instead of "short explanations" so it would become easy for the reader to get a) the basic information and/or b) more advanced information within one book.



  38. Fairy Nuff's Avatar
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    #38


    ok great, two more questions then -

    how will/who will decide which events are of importance in the Regions to be included in the Library?

    if I was a contributor, would I be limited to events in my own kingdom/region? If I contributed a piece about another region, would my IC presence there have to be canon?

    My main concern is that my character, a dryad/maia tree spirit, is not canon...in any kingdom.



  39. Bovas's Avatar
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    #39
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">wiebkes - Ah some great ideas there. I definitely want option 2. That is to say a library application with the forum for help and so on. In fact this forum could very well be that forum, it is for library issues after all! I am still waiting for feedback from Dain regarding the feasibility of my ideas but I figured we got some pretty top class coders on here so if we all put our heads together it should be doable. tbh I am struggling to remember how the Old Library worked when it was actually functioning. Now its just a search engine but I seem to recall it being a separate system with links to the plaza.
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">I do definitely like the idea of incorporating diferent pages into the library and perhaps that would be a rather useful way of controlling how much "encyclopedia" like content we have which is my concern.
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Fairy Nuff - Content for Regions section will be chosen by me liasing with the Region co-ordinators in the first instance. This will draw up a list of events to be covered then I or they will throw it open to the members of that region so that everyone is happy that the right stuff is being covered from their region. Regarding your second question, the important thing is that the author of the piece has a firm grasp and udnerstanding of what they are writing about. So, while I do want some articles written by the region members I would have no objection to you writing about events in another region than your own since its clear you absolutely know what you're talking about.
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">

  40. Saranna's Avatar
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    #40
    Point taken Thorin, I must have had my pedant's hat on! That sort of thing is really more of an editing issue, come to think of it. I hereby shut up and await further orders
    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

    Death comes to all
    But great achievements raise a monument
    Which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
    George Fabricius, 'In Praise of Georgius Agricola'

  41. Fairy Nuff's Avatar
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    #41


    Understood Thorin, in which case without further ado I would like to lay the offer of my services before you. I am so excited about being part of the new library, just point me where you want me!


  42. Saranna(and Thorin), perhaps the best approach regarding 'basic facts' is simply to keep a secondary goal of being a reference work in mind as we edit? As in, when we make entries maybe go just a little out of our way to include some plain basic information?



    That said, I think our strength is definitely going to be in other areas - for instance, the topic of how various aspects if the Rings work (how Sauron controls them, how the Ring 'stores' Sauron's power, what the Three actually do, etc. etc.) comes up periodically and I know there have been a number of excellent threads on aspects of the subject. This is an area where 'fact', very straightforward inference, and more sophisticated interpretation can all play a role, and this seems like exactly the sort of topic we need to address clearly.
    It would cover a lot of basic facts of great importance to the story, as well as potentially being enlightening on a more 'essayistic' level - if themes like seeing the Nazgul as a perversion of the ring-giver~thegn relationship are explored, it would also bring in the scholarly medievist approach to Tolkien, and potentially include both a 'Middle-earth studies' approach and a 'Tolkien studies' approach. The material is certainly there in the threads, at least.
    It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.

  43. Saranna's Avatar
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    #43
    Great point Lord of the Rings, I often think I would like to retrieve the good stuff from several threads on the same topic but can't recall when or where or who! If the meat were extracted from these separate threads and blended into a coherent soup (can you have coherent soup?) that would be excellent. Even the most serious of threads has its silly little bits for fun, and the argument may get lost or split up into different related topics - develping that into a library item would be just the thing, I think. Do you agree, Thorin?
    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

    Death comes to all
    But great achievements raise a monument
    Which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
    George Fabricius, 'In Praise of Georgius Agricola'

  44. Bovas's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">yes absolutely. I am very concious of the fact that there is a wealth of information in many different threads that needs drawing together and that is why I am so keen to have input from as many members possible. After all, I;d wager between us all we can cover pretty much what needs to be covered and point out threads which need mining as it were. Speaking of which, can we all make a special effort to direct traffic round here? The more we get the easier and better the end result will be!

  45. Today I was musing that it might be a good idea to develop a sort of 'operating procedure' of how individual members might go about starting to work on articles in the Loremasterssection. We can talk about what the details of that would be, but I figured a start might be to gives some pointers on how to find 'the good threads' that would provide the basis for the material. Here's what I've got:
    -Remember the thread and find it in the forums or archives (but be careful, since it's easy to waste too much time on this if you don't quite remember the title or something)-Check the 'Golden Oldies' thread (I'll get a link soonish) for lots.-Check the very small file of links I've saved (I'll paste in here shortly - I've got translations to do today though)-Do a Search-Check threads on the subject, and keep an eye out for links to earlier discussions (which may in turn have more links): often the really good threads have at least a few later references back to them-Perhaps we could start a thread asking the 'general populace' if they remember any good threads on a particular subject-Once you find a good thread, save the link in a way that you can find it again!
    For a lot of the topics we want to discuss, there are several 'really good' threads that should ideally all be consulted when making the library article. Of course, we can't possibly catch every single good thread ever, but these things might make it easier to incorporate as many excellent threads as possible into the library.
    It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.

  46. Bovas's Avatar
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    #46
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Just to add something to that LOTR, I would rather like members not only to say that they like a thread on a particular subject but also what they liked about it. I.E. what points they feel were particularly interesting or perhaps even what points were made but not elaborated on. Speaking for myself, I have seen many threads where the discussion has seemed to be going in one direction but then has gone in entirely another. In our Loremasters section perhaps we could be picking up those 'loose ends' for lack of a better phrase.

  47. Saranna's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Exactly right Thorin!
    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

    Death comes to all
    But great achievements raise a monument
    Which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
    George Fabricius, 'In Praise of Georgius Agricola'

  48. Hwesto's Avatar
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    #48
    I just wanted to pop in and say that I absolutely adore the idea of the Library page being interactive with the book opening and everything else. It sounds marvelous, really, and I hope it can be accomplished! Good luck to you and I will be watching intently to see where this goes :)



  49. corlisswyn's Avatar
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    #49
    I couldn't help but thinking, similarly to the idea of a Hobbit-like narrative, the histories of the regions could also be portrayed Annex-style. In the past few days I've been on here, one of the first things I noticed was a strong leadership structure, which makes me think of lineage trees. Assuming ya'lls don't change rulers every week or so, it might further the goal of sharing the experiences here, and meanwhile help some of us newbies get a fair idea of the place.

  50. Emmaotis's Avatar
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    #50
    Hey! I just finished The Hobbit and started reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I was wondering if anybody knows a way I could learn to speak elvish? It would be super awesome if someone could let me know about it soon, Thanks!


    ,Mya

  51. Bovas's Avatar
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    #51


    Corlissyn - this is a very good idea and something I definitely feel would wor, would you be willing to get some preliminary ideas drawn up for this?

    Emmaotis - Hello and welcome to the plaza! This is the Library forum so it's not really the best place for learning elvish. The place for the would be the languages forum where there are many people on hand to help you. If you wish to help with the Library however then I would welcome your input.



  52. Saranna's Avatar
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    #52
    <DIV =WebWizRTE leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" marginheight="1" marginwidth="1">All sounding good to me, and welcome Corlyssin! Just to remind you, Thorin, in a few days I go on holiday for two weeks, so won't be posting, please post or PM me anyway if necessary and I'll reply as soon as I get back.
    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

    Death comes to all
    But great achievements raise a monument
    Which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
    George Fabricius, 'In Praise of Georgius Agricola'

  53. Mallorn Blossom's Avatar
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    #53
    I am willing to help. I love books and libraries, and I love LOTR. It's a perfect fit. Someone just tell me what to do.

  54. Nieliqui Vaneyar's Avatar
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    #54
    Hi Mallorn. I'm sorry no one answered you right away. And it's probably to late to offer suggestions, but I think for the time being anyway, the Library is down.

    It's a shame, in a way. I submitted some articles for the old library back at least 5 or so years ago. At that time, I was fully aware of The Encyclopedia of Arda, but I only used that to check on specific 'facts' as it were. The entries are rather sparse and to the point. The three articles I submitted were actually more like essays and encompassed Morwen, The Green Elves of Ossiriand, and the Lay of Leithian. I was thinking from what I saw, and submitted, that our library at that time was to be more than just a book of facts, and each article would go into some depth about an event, a person, place or thing ( and I was hoping WE would have the final word on Tom Bombadil, but sadly not to be).

    I suppose one can always go back and read the books, but for example, the Green Elves are mentioned a number of times, but to go back and find every mention is sometimes more than people want or have time to do. One article/essay incorporating all that is written about them with the appropriate citations goes far more into understanding and learning about diverse things in Middle-earth. As far as reading other books, i don't think print will never die, but the electronic word has just as much a place as the written word in today's world. There are a lot of junk books out there, I just got a flyer from some company that looks like it buys unsold lots and offers them for around $5 each. A tremendous savings over what bookstores charge or even Amazon, but I looked at the titles, and most of them are the dregs of the book world, much like a lot of internet stuff is too. The reader still has the obligation of sorting the wheat from the dirt regardless of the media, which is why it would have nice to see some kind of quality work come out of the Plaza. It just takes a lot of work and time, which sadly more and more people have less and less.

    So, keep checking back, perhaps some brave soul will attempt another resurrection.

  55. Sherlock [REDACTED]'s Avatar
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    #55
    It would be a wonderful thing to see this site become a definitive resource.

    I'd offer to take over the project (as I have nothing but time), but I have no money to drop on books or any knowledge of how to build a net-based archive. But if there is anything I can do, please let me know. I think that what this project needs, more than anything else, is an entire community backing it - so count me, at least, in.

  56. Braigwen's Avatar
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    #56
    I would love to help- any things I could do?
    Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens.

  57. Syndra's Avatar
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    #57
    I would love to help with this too, any vacancies?

  58. Hlaevang's Avatar
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    #58
    Is this still running? I would be willing to help resurrect it if not. Otherwise, I just happy to help when and where I can.

  59. Bovas's Avatar
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    #59
    Assuming the Admins would allow it, I would very much like to get the Library up and running again. I realise things ground to a halt last time however, I would dearly love to re kindle the flames as it were. The Library was always a focal part of the plaza back in the day and I am very keen it should be so again.

  60. I second Bovas' motion there. When I was last on the Plaza, I remember the Library was rather well maintained and I loved the resources it provided. I'd be more than willing to help get it going again, Valar allowing of course.

  61. Drifa's Avatar
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    #61
    Here is a link that might help show what the library was like and what it could be...

    http://web.archive.org/web/200308050...trlibrary.com/

    Love is a big word like ocean, mountain, sky...


  62. Morwen Daegomir's Avatar
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    #62
    Wow, Drifa; thanks for the link-- I hadn't ever really had a chance to see what the library was. What an amazing project.

  63. Drifa's Avatar
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    #63
    Your welcome! It is really great because most of the links still work. A great job!

    Love is a big word like ocean, mountain, sky...


  64. Lanthir Lamath's Avatar
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    #64
    The short answer: probably not. This may change, but is not likely to.

    The longer answer:
    Guys, the library is a HUGE project, with low benefit. There is a reason it's gone through so many revamps! For the library to become a valuable resource (not just a fledgling one), it would take tremendous amounts of work. The odds of a volunteer or volunteer team managing to coordinate the creation of a huge Tolkien resource that would "outrun", as it were, already existing online resources... Well, these odds are pretty dim. The admin team realizes this, and we are not keen for ourselves - or our members- to go wasting energy on an endeavor so massive and time-consuming. We, especially, have other priorities, and we hope you see, appreciate, and get passionate about those. We simply can't go committing hours (coding hours, discussion hours, proofreading hours, research hours) beyond those key priorities.
    However.
    One of the most basic and fundamental truths of the plaza is that passion yields more results than duty, and those results are of much better quality than results produced out of duty. If someone here feels passionate about creating (from scratch) a "library" sort of resource, or something similar to a library but limited in order for the scope to be manageable, we'd be delighted to get a PM outlining the project proposal (there will have to be a project proposal outlining scope, purpose, interest, etc) and who is willing to take on what task.

    In short, while we have no intentions of committing ourselves to working on this right now and are skeptical on the feasibility of many of the ideas put to us in the past, we are willing to listen to proposals.

    "It is hard indeed to believe that one of so great wisdom, and of power—for many wonderful things he did among us—could perish, and so much lore be taken from the world."-Faramir, TLotR IV.5

  65. Nieliqui Vaneyar's Avatar
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    #65
    One of the sad moments in the history of the Library is that the Library referenced by Drifa was, I'm thinking, possibly the most involved attempt at getting it off the ground which still didn't succeed. I contributed 3 different articles to this version (was there a previous version?) - The Green Elves of Ossiriand, Morwen, and The Lay of Leithian, but they are very difficult to find , and the search engine can't even find Morwen although her story exists under Turin Turambar in The First Age, but not under Turin in the Edain section. Re-reading now what I wrote, I still like them, but I now wish I had (at least in my own copies) referenced more specifically where I found the information. The Green Elves for example are barely mentioned throughout the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales and finding the specific pages was a task. I also submitted a copy of my creation of an Index for The Hobbit, but it didn't fit neatly into the scheme they were using at the time.

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