Thursday, December 29, 2005

BMJ editorial: "How Google is changing medicine" http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/331/7531/1487 . The librarian author, Dean Giustini, is a biomedical branch librarian of the University of British Columbia. The author's last words in the editorial: "Build Google Medicine. The benefits to human health would be immeasurable."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

"Secret Life of Librarian Bloggers" article in the Plains to Peaks Post newsletter of the NNLM/MCR: http://nnlm.gov/mcr/news/newsletter/index.php?article=191 . Writing the article was one of my most enjoyable partnerships of the year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Creating an emergency preparedness plan? Visit http://www.ready.gov , and locate checklists, templates, and other resources that may be useful to you in your planning.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A laptop worth considering if you are on the road: DualCor Technologies combined cell phone and laptop. Here is the link to the CNET story: http://news.com.com/2100-1041_3-5997426.html .

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Join the Bibliocasting list!
Introducing the Bibliocasting listserv.The bibliocasting listserv (bibliocasting@listserv.syr.edu) isdedicated to a discussion of streaming media in the libraryenvironment. This list grows out of the increasing popularity of"Podcasting," or the use of RSS and the Internet to download audioprograms (like audio blogs) to computers and MP3 players. A recentReuters story states:"Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults who own MP3 players like AppleComputer Inc.'s iPod say they have downloaded podcast programs from theInternet, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found...That means more than 6 million people are listening to a form of communicationthat emerged only last year, according to the nonprofit group."[ http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/154/report_display.asp ]So what to post on the list? Examples of how libraries can build on the growing excitement of Podcasting; Questions on how libraries can use themselves and provide better service; Questions on how to podcast and other technical questions on streaming media including QuickTimeStreaming, RealProducer, and others. In addition, the list willinclude postings of key articles, reports, and news about podcasting andother streaming media in general and in the the library context. Bottom Line: We are looking to build a community of individuals interested in the application of multimedia in the library environment. SUBSCRIBING TO THE LIST To subscribe to the list send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.syr.edu withthe entire message (no subject line): subscribe bibliocasting FirstName LastName

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Marketing information, funding guides, and best practice examples now available at the new Ebsco Customer Success Center: http://www.epnet.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=20&topicID=204 .

Monday, December 12, 2005

"Physicians find librarians vital" article citation posted at the Krafty Librarian blog: http://kraftylibrarian.blogspot.com/2005/12/physicians-find-librarians-vital.html . Great article, and great blog!
Camel Mobile Library Service in Kenya: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2005/12/12/2003284113 . I wonder if camels can be hooked up to deliver wireless Internet, too?
Libraries "unbundled"? After reading this Dec. 11th NY Times article "Unbundles of Joy" by Daniel Akst (free registration may be required: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/business/yourmoney/11cont.html ), I started wondering what an 'unbundled' library might look like. Are we all ready heading in that direction?

Friday, December 09, 2005

OCLC has released report on "Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources" - recommended reading for any of us wondering what folks are thinking. http://www.oclc.org/reports/2005perceptions.htm .
The Future of HTML http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/x-futhtml1/?ca=dgr-lnxw01FutureHTML , an article at the IBM site.
(originally viewed in a slashdot posting http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/09/0045244 ).

Monday, December 05, 2005

NLM is recruiting for a new Associate Director for Library Operations - see job NLM-05-03SES on this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/about/jobs/jobs.html . This is your chance to use your librarian powers for the good of all!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Now there is a way to reformat your video collection for use on mobile devices, as pointed out in this BoingBoing posting: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/12/01/gadget_turns_all_you.html . Made by Neuros, this device will record onto digital memory cards from any video source.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Opportunities for sharing your research and presenting at conferences are listed in this blog: A Library Writer's Blog http://librarywriting.blogspot.com/ , thanks to Corey Seeman, University of Toledo.
An annotated bibliography on web logs and blogging, created and maintained by Susan Herzog: http://blog-bib.blogspot.com/ . She is the information literacy librarian at Eastern Connecticut State University. Don't miss this bib!

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a memo on rise of search engine use. From their email announcement:

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a data memo on the
recent rise in search engine use. This data memo is now available on our
website: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/167/report_display.asp.
Article on measuring your site's content pages at User Interface Engineering: 5-second tests http://www.uie.com/articles/five_second_test/ .

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Story in Campus Technology on $100 laptops: http://www.campus-technology.com/news_article.asp?id=17517&typeid=153 .
These little laptops may hold the power to transform learning all over the world. It is in our best interest to make sure that those distant users have high quality access to library collections!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Journal call for submissions


EBL_Postcard
Originally uploaded by Bibliotek.

New journal: Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. The deadline for submitting papers to the first issue is December 1, 2005. Visit the journal website: http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP


Friday, November 11, 2005

Digital patient health records are a step closer, according to a NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/11/business/11health.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1131732502-rsJ66BvA+s2NJulLceMxWQ . Now, where do/can libraries and information access fit within the to-be-designed health networks?

Monday, November 07, 2005

eBooks take the ivory tower: Library Journal's URLearning Series free webcast on November 15, 2005.
Webcast will cover:
trends in publishing and pricing models and agreement terms;
enhancements to ebooks that improve and expand usability;
acceptance and use by different disciplines and demographic groups;
managing ebook collections and the electronic/print book relationship;
and impact of mass digitization projects, such as Google Library and the Open Content Alliance. A link to the registration is on this page:
http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6271543.html&

Friday, November 04, 2005

Announcing a new NN/LM course: Geeks Bearing Gifts: unwrapping new
technology trends, available at http://nnlm.gov/train/geekgifts/ .

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The DC Principles is a group of non-profit publishers working to connect citizens to research via free access. Their site is here: http://www.dcprinciples.org/ They issued a press release on October 25 here: http://www.dcprinciples.org/linkingrelease.pdf . T. Scott Plutchak has excellent comments on the linking proposal and issues that librarians should consider here: http://tscott.typepad.com/tsp/2005/10/linking_proposa.html . I thought this was his most important comment: "My biggest frustration with the whole open access debate is that it has put librarians and the society publishers in opposition. Instead of working together to transform scholarly publishing, we waste time and energy arguing. This proposal is an opportunity to get us all on the same side of the fence -- where we ought to be. "

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A main player in the open source support world, in my opinion, is Google (and I am not just saying that because thanks to them I have blogspace!). Here is a link to Chris DiBona's posting on their support of projects in Oregon: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/10/supporting-open-source.html . We need to get projects in the Heartland, folks!
Check out this story in BoingBoing.Net about the Open Content Alliance and a link to the Open Library: www.boingboing.net/2005/10/26/library_of_public_do.html . Consider this type of project as a possible Community Collaboration Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services: http://www.imls.gov/grants/index.htm .

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Individual Biomedical Informatics Fellowship, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine - next deadline for application is December 5, 2005: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/GrantTrainIndividualF37.html Yes, it is open to librarians!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Analysis of HON survey of health and medical internet users: http://www.hon.ch/Survey/Survey2005/res.html . Good news for consumer health librarians can be found in this quote from the Executive Summary: "Most patient-respondents (88.2%) agreed that seeking health information on the Internet improves the quality of consultation with their physician."
Another aggregator for your RSS feeds - Google Reader (beta) can be found here: http://www.google.com/reader/things/intro .
ACRL has a new blog for academic librarians. I took a look at it, and it is definitely one that will be added to my Waggr (http://www.waggr.com/). From the press release:
"The new blog can be found at http://www.acrlblog.org . Unlike many
blogs, ACRLog invites contributions from those interested in academic
and research librarianship. Guest commentaries, contributed conference
reports, perspectives from ACRL chapters, and opinions about the latest
trends and issues can all be shared within this blogspace.
ACRLog was created as a response to an article by Scott McLemee,
"Silence in the Stacks," published last June in Inside HigherEd. McLemee
wondered why there was no single blog geared to the interests of
academic librarians that explored what he called "the issues of the
day." The ACRL Board decided to fill the void, and ACRLog was born."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Interested in offering tutorials to users that have video playback capability on their computers, cell phones, and/or iPods? You can set up a videoblog for free at: http://freevlog.org/ .

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"People need information as much as water, food, medicine or shelter. Information can save lives, livelihoods and resources." Quotes from the World Disasters Report 2005, released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies http://www.ifrc.org/publicat/wdr2005/index.asp . Check out this report and note where a librarian's role would fit, or where a librarian could have helped. Send it to your library association lobbyist. Share it with your administrator. Give it to your local disaster preparedness council, along with your card.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Interesting article in Businessweek: Help for Info Age Have-Nots http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2005/tc2005104_6877_tc024.htm
Article discusses what some companies are doing to bridge the Digital Divide.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A new international pharma Clinical Trials Portal was launched on September 21: http://www.ifpma.org/clinicaltrials.html . Created by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, the site offers one-stop searching of ongoing trials, trial results, and a glossary of terms. This could be a site to add to your consumer health resource page.
ECRI's Katrina Medical Technology Information Clearinghouse has been launched: http://katrina.ecri.org/default.aspx . From the site: "This new site will serve as a central clearinghouse for information on the disaster relief-related medical products and services available from companies worldwide. "

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has issued a new report on a slowing rate of adoption of broadband in the US: http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/164/report_display.asp . You may want to share this at your next web committee meeting.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A very good article on the pitfalls of "overchoice": When Product Variety Backfires, by Poping Lin http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=4980&t=marketing . The author is a business librarian at the Harvard Business School.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New consumer health information search tool, powered by Google, at Healthfinder. From post by Patricia Anderson on the medwebmasters list: " searches for consumer health information *only* in the appropriate sections of 300 US govt. agencies." http://www.healthfinder.gov/search/about.asp

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hurricane Katrina environmental health links resource from NLM:
http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/hurricane.html

Friday, September 02, 2005

"Digital Libraries - 'Opening' a digital library" article in the September issue of Campus Technology: http://www.campus-technology.com/article.asp?id=11727 .
Interesting article on the loss of the public domain, first seen on slashdot.org: The Public Domain - here today, gone tomorrow http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3176 .

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

DocuPen http://www.planon.com/docupen.php - could a library use this to scan items at the shelf and email the images for ILL? Would the images that this pen produces replace the need to haul carts of bound journals around to the photocopy room for the "pull and photocopy service", and enable libraries to just email the documents (as our patrons so plainly prefer!)?
Free countdown clocks to use in your presentations, thanks to Matt Fuller: http://www.mattjfuller.com/home/timers.html . The clocks are AVI files, and can be inserted in both PowerPoint and Keynote presentations. Let your audience know without a doubt when break is over!
Slashdot articles on libraries: 1) using DRM to "expire" audio books: http://slashdot.org/articles/05/08/30/0016241.shtml?tid=188&tid=126 ; 2) [what] new tech should libraries try next? http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/24/2258245&tid=192&tid=126&tid=4 . Don't miss the comments posted to both of these stories! If you are wondering what your patrons want or are thinking, this may help you get an idea.

Monday, August 29, 2005

"Do you think you are a master at locating what you need on the Internet?
To find out take the IMSA Search Challenge on the new edition of the
IMSA 21st Century Information Fluency (21CIF) Web site (http://21cif.imsa.edu). This is
only one of the new free tools and resources to help you find, evaluate and use digital
information effectively, efficiently and ethically." -as seen on the Infoliteracy discussion list, 26 Aug 05

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Another good blog, TeacherLibrarian, posted an entry yesterday about the library at UT Texas moving out the books in favor of creating a gathering place: http://teacherlibrarian.blogspot.com/ . Direct link to the story about the library: http://teacherlibrarian.blogspot.com/2005/08/no-more-books-no-more-library.html .

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Shifted Librarian, a great blog, lists 20 Technology Skills Every Librarian Should Have http://www.theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2005/07/21/20_technology_skills_every_librarian_should_have.html .

If you are involved with any CE events for your librarian organizations, you may want to check this list out for ideas on what classes to have on hand! Even better, this list could give you ideas on your next marketing strategy, to let others know in your workplace what they can count on from the library.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

New business event repository that offers automatic indexing service: Copper Eye Looks Into a New Repository http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=11674 . This type of service would add a whole new layer to an online catalog - just send in the files of the new ebooks and ejournals that are entered into a library, and give improved searching ability to users hunting for topics. This would also work for research centers on campuses, enabling researchers to check and see who might be on campus to collaborate with, or is in unknown competition with, before the next grant application is written.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Wiki for Library Success! "Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki" http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Main_Page . Please take a look at this resource and consider sharing your own expert knowledge.
Do you know the next Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award winner?
Nominations due December 2, 2005. Academic/Research Librarian of the Year recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic or research librarianship and library development.
This award recognizes and honors achievement in such areas as:
* Service to the organized profession through ACRL and related organizations
* Significant and influential research on academic or research library
service
* Publication of a body of scholarly and/or theoretical writing contributing
to academic or research library development
* Planning and implementing a library program of such exemplary quality that
it has served as a model for others
Award: $3,000 and a plaque sponsored by YBP Library Services
Send nominations to:
Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award ACRL, 50 E. Huron Street,
Chicago, IL 60611
See details in the Awards Section of the ACRL Web site: www.ala.org/acrl
The National Library of Medicine just updated the Fact Sheet for Telemedicine, located here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/telemedicine.html .

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

2 free digital books for learning and training professionals: http://www.masie.com/masie/default.cfm?page=default . Courtesy of The MASIE Center, the titles are: What keeps you up at night?, and 701 e-learning tips .

Monday, July 11, 2005

Free strategic planning seminar: Sign up for the Dynix Institute Fast, Cheap and Decent Strategic Planning, Jul 13, 2005, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Pacific, with PatWagner, Pattern Research, Inc., Denver. Registration is free and you don't have to be a Dynix (or Sirsi)customer to sign up. Here is the URL: http://www.dynix.com/institute/seminar/index.asp?sem=20050713 - or you can go to http://www.dynix.com/institute/ for more general information as well. [email from Pat Wagner on ACRL discussion list]
Interested in seeing what blogs are read by the great medical librarians in KS, MO, SD, NE, CO, WY, and UT? http://nnlm.gov/mcr/services/technology/blogs.html

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Please take this survey on using blogs for library instruction. (From an OFFCAMP message, posted here with permission)
We would like to invite you to take our survey on using blogs for instruction in libraries. We are presenting a paper at the Off-Campus Library Services Conference in Savannah and would like to include the results in that paper. We have also surveyed our students so it should make for an interesting paper.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=902981115936
Thank you,
Lani Draper
Priscilla Coulter
*********************************************************
Lani Hall Draper, MLIS
Librarian
Ralph W Steen Library
SFASU
lhall@sfasu.edu

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Interested in what search engine is indexing your web pages? Google Index Notification (also known as Search Engine Index Notification) could be the assistance you need. You can get notified when Google, Yahoo, or MSN indexes your site. Created by JRBTech. Download and support links on page: http://www.jrbtech.com/googleindex/

Monday, June 13, 2005

Digital Information Fluency Core Competencies are listed here http://21cif.imsa.edu/inform/program/difcorecompetencies.html , on the 21st Century Information Fluency Project Portal. I really like the DIF process model, as it includes the question for our users: "How will I ethically use the information?"

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Blog Dedication?


Blog Dedication?
Originally uploaded by Bibliotek.
I was excited to see what appeared to be at first glance a great example of bridging the Digital Divide.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just a note about the entry for "Library Technology NOW": I checked out this site after seeing it highlighted in the NetWatch section of June 2005 edition of eSchool News. The home site for the eSchool News is: http://eschoolnews.com/ .
"Library Technology NOW" is a new site, covering 'Library technology news and product reviews written by library people for library people'. http://www.librarytechnologynow.org/
With content written by volunteers, the site is funded by The North Texas Regional Library System and the Texas Library Association. Spring 2005's theme includes Public Access Defenses, and links to 3rd party reviews of public access security software. Both might come in handy for that training room security issue you are thinking about.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Here's your chance to publish your article on library technology trends. Call for articles on important trends in library and information technology by peer reviewed journal Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) : http://librarycareers.blogspot.com/2005_06_01_librarycareers_archive.html#111782415016886061
[Seen on Beyond the Job blog]

Friday, May 27, 2005

Online games for librarians:
You can reach a group of online games for Librarians at:
http://www.greenbergcreative.com/archives/library/Archive-04-04-02-Library.htm
The link to the games is below the bottom of a normal-sized screen so keep scrolling.
Thanks to Cindy Schmidt, librarian extraordinaire at the McGoogan Library of Medicine, for pointing out the link to these games!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Interested in creating a community tech and learning center in your library? Microsoft might have a grant for you! As seen on eSchool News Online:
$1 billion to develop tech skills for disadvantaged youth, adults
Grant Title: Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program Organization: Microsoft Corp.
Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations
Value: Up to $1 billion over 5 years
Deadline: July 19, 2005
Microsoft Unlimited Potential (UP) grants provide nonprofit organizations with funding to support technology training programs ranging from learning basic computer skills to using advanced business productivity applications. Donations of cash, software, curriculum, and technical expertise enable individuals to learn about technology and gain the information technology skills needed for employment in the IT field or other industry sectors. UP grants are made through Microsoft's U.S. and international subsidiaries, which work closely with local organizations to identify community-based technology and learning centers (CTLC) where IT skills training is a primary focus. Unsolicited proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Over the next five years, the program plans to donate more than $1 billion in such grants.
Contact: http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/citizenship/giving/programs/up/
The Freirean Approach to Adult Literacy Education: http://www.cal.org/caela/digests/FreireQA.htm
I saw this link in Keith Cogdill's message on the HealthGaps discussion list, posted there because of its potential use in health literacy education. I like the following passage: "
Freire's approach has been called "deeply contextual" (Chacoff, 1989, p. 49) because in it learning to read and write flows from the discussion of themes of importance to adult learners, drawn from their real-life experiences. " This is how I have always worked when encouraging anyone to learn how to locate the information they need. I just didn't know it was Freire's approach first! Locating that 'theme of importance' to me is the most important thing I can do to get ready for a class or presentation. I have always needed to know, pardon the slang, "where they are coming from" in order to determine what path I need to construct to show them the way to the information they need.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

UK offering free 24/7 online reference services, from Library Journal story
http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA603048?display=NewsNews&industry=News&industryid=1986&verticalid=151& . The Library Journal mentioned that there are partners in this plan with Canadian and United States libraries, but I wasn't able to see a list of partners easily on the Enquire website.
A new library blog that you will want to check out, created by a former colleague and great librarian in Kansas - :30 Librarian (that's thirty second librarian) http://whitneydt.blogspot.com/ .

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

4 research reports recently released by the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council in London, "New Directions in Social Policy": http://www.mla.gov.uk/information/publications/00pubs.asp .
Just published: Data Dictionary For Preservation Metadata http://www.oclc.org/research/announcements/2005-05-20.htm .

Friday, May 20, 2005

Using public access computers will require fingerprint record (?) - story seen on Slashdot: http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0505200366may20,1,4613732.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Value of Libraries - SIRSI report on Value of Canadian Libraries: Impact, Normative Data, and Influencing Funders http://www.sirsi.com/Pdfs/Company/Abram/StephenAbram_ValueCanadianLibraries.pdf
This report has information that stretches across North America. Check out the references for links to recent studies on value of libraries from Florida, South Carolina, as well as school, academic, and special libraries.
Health Information Online - new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/156/report_display.asp

Friday, May 13, 2005

Dutch Academics Declare Research Free-For-All http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/11/open_access_research/
"Scientists from all major Dutch universities officially launched a
website on Tuesday where all their research material can be accessed for
free. Interested parties can get hold of a total of 47,000 digital
documents from 16 institutions [through DAREnet]. No other
nation in the world offers such easy access to its complete academic
research output in digital form, the researchers claim. Obviously,
commercial publishers are not amused." regarding: http://www.darenet.nl/page/language.view/home . (Found thanks to a post from Patricia Anderson on the Medwebmasters discussion list. )

Monday, May 09, 2005

Strengthening Rural Communities, Bread of the World Institute's 15th annual report, particularly Chapters 4 and 5, could be of interest to developers in rural areas around the world and in the United States: http://www.bread.org/institute/hunger_report/2005-pdf.htm . Chapter 5, Strengthening Rural Communities in the United States, includes an interesting map showing "Non-metro counties with net out-migration" from 1980-2000. If you are writing any grant proposals that address the needs of rural areas, this report may be of interest.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Free WAP authoring tool that I learned about: Coffee Cup Wireless Web Builder 2.0 http://www.topshareware.com/CoffeeCup-Wireless-Web-Builder-download-9237.htm . It was mentioned in "Solving the one-to-one computing dilemma" by Jim Hirsch, in the eSchool News http://eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=5652 (free registration may be required). His view is that most students interact with a handheld device already- phone, pda, etc. - that could be used to deliver content if it was reformatted. My view is that libraries need to pay attention to this as well - our audience is already walking around fairly wired (grin!) - we just need to start using those channels to deliver our information.
Use Flash? Use Adobe products? The two companies have just announced that they are merging: Macromedia and Adobe to Join Forces http://www.macromedia.com/macromedia/adobe_macromedia/ . There are links to the Adobe-Macromedia Acquisition website, the FAQ, and an article "With Adobe in charge, what will happen to Flash?"

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Branding is an important part of communicating your message. Your goal is to reach those that need you the most. I found two sites that could be useful to anyone considering how their services are or will be branded. The first includes a pdf of a naming and branding decision tree, from Identityworks http://www.identityworks.com/tools/decision_trees.htm . This tool could be useful during your next board meeting to determine when branding of new programs or services under your organization should occur. The second resource is Analyze Your Brand by AllaboutBranding.com http://www.allaboutbranding.com/index.lasso?page=11,53,75 that includes 30 questions to help you measure your organization's branding strengths. Both of these would be useful for any non-profit interested in their own branding.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Municipal broadband story of interest to you if you have customers that access your services over the Internet. cNet News.Com: http://news.com.com/Cities+brace+for+broadband+war/2009-1034_3-5680305.html
There is also a map showing municipal projects in the U.S., and a link to last summer's story on "How the U.S. can build a national network."
iPods-other uses, including podcasting, are mentioned in the May issue of Health Data Management. http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/html/current/CurrentIssueStory.cfm?PostID=19487 Have you thought of using podcasting to get your message out?

Friday, April 29, 2005

Libraries are concerned with quality of information - so is Google, as mentioned in this New Scientist story: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/info-tech/mg18624975.900 (spotted on today's Slashdot). Google plans to rank sources with a patented process used to rank search results.
A quote from the story: "The patent also reveals that the same system could be roped in to rank other search results, not simply news. So sales and services could in the future be listed on the basis of price and the reputation of the company involved."
Something cool to consider - your local library might have the chance to prove its worth against other search services if libraries used this system as well.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Free global health resource - Little Green Data Book, 2005 edition. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:20455564~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

Copies can be requested by emailing an address listed on this page: http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/ESSD/envext.nsf/44ByDocName/EnvironmentalIndicatorsCurrentInitiativesTheLittleGreenDataBook2005

Are you able to include pdf files of ebooks in your OPAC? If so, here is a link to the pdf:
http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/ESSD/envext.nsf/44ByDocName/TheLittleGreenDayaBook2005/$FILE/2005Littlegreendatabook.pdf
Using html to create user education resources? Writing HTML: a tutorial for creating web pages, by the Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction, is a great site to use as a reference as well as a tutorial for basic html code. The index of lessons is at this site: http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/tut/lessons.html .
Looking for a web-based news aggregator? You and your users may be interested in this one: Waggr http://www.waggr.com . I had been using a desktop-based aggregator, but like most librarians, I use many computers during the day. Waggr has been great for me, since it is so easy to use. The registration is free, and pretty simple - just your email address and a password, and you are set. Take a look at it, and consider it the next time your users ask about the best way to keep up with your library's blog.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Slashdot [http://slashdot.org] has a thread asking about Open Source Software solutions for managing a library collection: http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/21/1535213 . The answers contain many links to resources, as well as advice, that should be useful if your library is considering a similar issue.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

McGoogan Baseball Card


McGoogan Info Card
Originally uploaded by Bibliotek.
Our library introduced baseball cards last year as part of a promotional program. Our customers like the cards, since they are easy to carry in a wallet. The cards also contain our email, website, toll and toll-free numbers on the reverse. Our card set now includes: a basic information card, shown here; a distance education card; and a card that highlights our consumer health information reference service [CHIRS]. Consider creating a set of cards at your library as another way to promote your library's services.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I just learned of this site and its service on the boingboing.net. Wondir http://www.wondir.com/wondir/jsp/index.jsp appears to be the ultimate in virtual reference - only the questions are being asked to the public, not to any particular library. Your library could partner up with this site as well http://www.wondir.com/wondir/jsp/index.jsp . The site includes this disclaimer: "Wondir is not a substitute for professional advice." I would love to see if this is being used in current reference classes in library school, as real-life examples of questions that are looking for answers. And if you are looking for ways to reward your reference department, check out the Wondir Bowl contest. Librarians should know their own Answer Quality Rating, and get rewarded for a high average!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The National Health Information Technology Coordinator, Dr. David Brailer, spoke to the American Medical Informatics Association spring meeting yesterday in Boston. His theme: interoperability. If you are planning a library conference, or are looking for a speaker idea for your campus, this might be someone to bring in if possible. I am not sure how much they are keeping library information resources in mind while they are planning the "national health information network". More on the what Dr. Brailer spoke about is in this Health IT World News article (spotted on the iHealthbeat.org site) http://tmlr.net/jump/?c=12519&a=296&m=2954&p=1629440&t=164 .

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I just discovered a great blog: SNTReport.com . Edited by K. Matthew Dames, the blog has categories of particular interest to library educators, including Education & Training. Take a look at it and consider adding it to your RSS reader: http://www.sntreport.com/ .

Friday, April 08, 2005

Boingboing.net has a posting about a Minneapolis Star-Tribune article on the first session of the Association of College and Research Libraries conference: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/04/08/take_me_to_the_dinos.html The topic of the session: how do libraries best serve the 'millenials', the students that have grown up with the Internet. There is a link to the newspaper article, registration is required.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A great new marketing blog for librarians has been launched: http://librarymarketing.blogspot.com/. Created by Jill Stover, Undergraduate Services Librarian of the James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, it promises to be a great way to share successful ideas.

Monday, March 28, 2005

If you or the health professionals you serve are interested in access to health information in 'resource poor settings', and would benefit from a global perspective, HIF-net is the email list for you. A joint project between the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications and the World Health Organization, the subscribers to the list include librarians, care providers, and others concerned with answering the call for access to information. Instructions on joining the list as well as more information about the project are here: http://www.inasp.info/health/hif-net.html

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Yahoo has a beta version of a Creative Commons search engine. I saw the story on boingboing: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/03/24/creative_commons_sea.html . Take a look to see if there are materials/images for your education needs that you can adapt or use as is. Also, check to see if your materials that you have registered with CC show up so that others can find them.
OCLC has a library advocacy section to their website. Check out the new posters they have designed that you can download and customize to use in your marketing campaigns: http://www.oclc.org/advocacy/default.htm .

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

For those of you who are in the position of explaining what a blog is, you may want to check out and forward this article on the Digital Divide Network: The Blogging Phenomenon, by Cedar Pruitt http://www.digitaldivide.net/articles/view.php?ArticleID=86 . I also recommend that you join this community if your interests include any facet of "bridging the digital divide"!
Interested in the future of medical libraries? Check out the newest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine for a great article :
Lindberg DA, Humphreys BL
2015-The Future of Medical Libraries
N Engl J Med. 2005 Mar 17; 352 (11): 1067-70

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Are you looking for a teen resource to teach public health issues? If your library supports high school career, Explorer, or Area Health Education Center programs and their leaders, pass this link along:
Outbreak at Watersedge http://www.mclph.umn.edu/watersedge/
This online game was developed by the Midwest Center for Life-long Learning in Public Health in Minnesota.
Interested in open access to peer-reviewed literature? Take a look at this conference report.

The Implementation of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access:
Report on the Berlin 3 Meeting Held 28 February - 1 March
2005, Southampton, UK, Stevan Harnad, Université du Québec à
Montréal, D-Lib Magazine (March 2005),
http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march05/harnad/03harnad.html

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Wondering what the future could hold for your library? If you serve any facet of the health care industry, you will probably want to check out this story in Healthcare Informatics : Nine Tech Trends http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/issues/2005/02_05/cover.htm . See where your library and its services can plug into the coming electronic healthcare record world. The story was also discussed on a UK NHS site here: http://www.informatics.nhs.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=1229 . Both were mentioned on a recent post to the TELEHEALTH discussion list: http://www.telehealth.net/subscribe/subscribe_list.html .

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A call for public comments to the US Copyright Office for the Orphan Works problem is here: http://www.orphanworks.org/ , a service of Public Knowledge . If you have ever had to search unsuccessfully for a copyright holder for an item one of your patrons is interested in using, you have experienced an 'orphan work'. A link for public comments at the US Copyright Office is here http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/index.html . Deadline for public comments is March 25, 2005. Let them hear your comments on a solution.

Friday, February 25, 2005

If your library is supporting handheld users, you may want to put this blog on your RSS reader: The Handheld Librarian http://www.handheldlib.blogspot.com . If you want to check out some readers to add your RSS feeds into, check out this page of suggestions for readers hosted by Blogspace: http://blogspace.com/rss/readers .

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

If you are a MLA member, please take this survey:

Don't miss out on your chance to participate in MLA's Leadership and
Management Section's Career Development Survey at
http://www.lms.mlanet.org/survey.html
We've received over 750 responses so far! But time is running out to
complete the survey, which ends on Monday, February 28th. If you
haven't already taken the 10-15 minute survey, why not pop in right
now?
There is a survey option here for absolutely everyone. If you're
aspiring to middle management, or a current middle manager we want to
hear from you! We also want to hear from upper management and
individuals who are not interested in pursuing management at all.
To complete the survey:
1. Link to: http://www.lms.mlanet.org/survey.html
2. Select the survey option that best reflects your current situation.
Please complete only 1 survey.
Approximate Survey Time: 15 minutes.
To learn more about MLA's Leadership and Management Section, visit our
website: http://www.lms.mlanet.org/
Thank you!
PDCAMM Task Force
MLA Leadership & Management Section
Here is a Christian Science Monitor article on the Wikipedia: http://www.christiansciencemonitor.com/2005/0211/p25s01-stin.html .
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is already alive and well in libraries, but using it to track humans is a relatively new issue. Here is a story about a school that implemented, then withdrew, a student tracking program based on RFID name tags: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStoryts.cfm?ArticleID=5520 . Weak prediction here, but in the future we as user educators will probably keep attendance based on nametags and a reader over the computer lab door instead of relying on sign-in sheets.

Monday, February 21, 2005

If your library runs Windows XP on your machines, you may want to forward this notice to your system librarian and/or tech support: Ready or Not, Here Comes Windows XP SP2 http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/21/1543243&tid=201&tid=128&tid=172&tid=185&tid=218 .
Great book on web design is mentioned in this recent review: http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/16/2058234&threshold=0&tid=95&tid=156&tid=6 . Carrie Bickner is the author, and her blog is here: http://www.roguelibrarian.com/index.html . More about the book, Web Design On a Shoestring, is here: http://www.roguelibrarian.com/shoestring/index.html , and here http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0735713286/qid=1109021924/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-7769119-5097505?v=glance&s=books , or you can subscribe and read it online at Safari http://safari.informit.com/?XmlId=0-7357-1328-6 . Yes, folks - the great advice in this book comes from a great librarian.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Share this with your patrons!
New Science.gov Service Delivers Science Information to Desktops
Alliance helps public stay "alert" to the latest science discoveries from 12 federal science agencies, introduces Science.gov Alert Service
Media Contact For immediate release
Cathey Daniels February 17, 2005
(865) 576-9539
danielsc@osti.gov
Science.gov, the "go to" Web portal for federal science information, now provides a free and convenient "Alert" service that delivers information about the most current science developments right to desktops each Monday.
Launched at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Feb. 17-21, 2005) in Washington, D.C., the Science.gov Alert Service provides weekly emails to those interested in science.
From the Science.gov homepage (http://www.science.gov), individuals can set up an account and let Science.gov do the searching for them. Each week, up to 25 relevant results from selected information sources will be sent to the subscriber's email account. Results are displayed in the Alert email and in a personalized Alert Archive, which stores six weeks of alerts results. In the Archive, past activity can be reviewed and Alert profiles edited.
Individuals can choose specific sources to monitor, or select the "All Sources" option. Science.gov drills down into hard-to-find research information collections, spanning more than 47 million pages of government R&D results. More than 1,700 government information resources and 30 databases on a wide variety of scientific topics are available - all in one place and searchable with just one search tool.
Since its launch in 2002, Science.gov, the science companion to FirstGov, has been the one-stop gateway to reliable federal science and technology information. Science.gov allows individuals to search for information based on subject, rather than by government agency.
Science.gov is made possible by the Science.gov Alliance, a collaboration of 12 federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services and the Interior, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Printing Office, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, with support from the National Archives and Records Administration.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Here is a business seminar source that I recently learned about (and it is connected to the University of Nebraska!): NU Skills http://www.nuskills.unl.edu/ . A class that would be of particular interest to librarians is coming up next week: Presenting with Power (it should be the first class listed on this page https://nuskills.webex.com/nuskills/mywebex/default.php?Rnd8635=0.7188375822167214 ), and it only costs $39 ($45 if you register within 24 hours of the course time and date).

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Managing Digital Assets: A primer for library and information technology administrators
This CLIR workshop took place on Feb 4-6, 2005. The speaker notes, presentations, and reading list are now available online at http://www.clir.org/activities/registration/feb05_managing.html .

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Pew Research Center has published an online reference book that can be downloaded by chapter or as a complete volume at: Trends 2005 http://pewresearch.org/trends/ .
Chapters (pdf) include:
The American Public: Opinions and Values in a 51%-48% Nation
Religion & Public Life: A Faith-Based Partisan Divide
Media: More Voices, Less Credibility
Internet: The Mainstreaming of Online Life
Hispanics: A People in Motion
The States: Policy Innovation Amid Fiscal Constraint
Global Opinion: The Spread of Anti-Americanism
Just stop and think a moment on how our work and personal lives have been changed by the Internet! A recent report from the Pew & Internet Life Project details the changes that have happened over the last decade:
A Decade of Adoption: How the Internet Has Woven Itself Into American Life
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/148/report_display.asp

Monday, February 07, 2005

From a great librarian on the Medwebmasters list, Patricia F. Anderson:
----------------
I stumbled on this and love the idea of 'digital environmentalists'.
Another concept word I see linked with this is 'copyfight' or
'copyfighter(s)'.
The bottom line seems to be to apply environmentalism concepts of
preservation and stewardship and a shared environment in the digital
realm. This is seem to especially touch on intellectual property laws
(just as natural environmentalism touches on physical property laws).
I thought several of you on this list might also enjoy
it. FYI!
BookForum (Feb/Mar 2005): Righting Copyright - Fair use and "Digital
Environmentalism" / by Robert S. Boynton:
http://www.bookforum.com/boynton.html
What Boynton says actually has its roots in international library
policies.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA):
IFLA Position on Copyright in the Digital Environment:
http://www.ifla.org/V/press/copydig.htm
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR): Authenticity in a
Digital Environment: http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub92/pub92.pdf
Society of American Archivists (SAA): Copyright, Archival Institutions and
the Digital Environment:
http://www.archivists.org/statements/stmt-copyright-arch.asp
And other places. :-)
Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER),
Department of Information Science, City University (London): SCHOLARLY
COMMUNICATION IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT: WHAT DO AUTHORS WANT? Findings
of an international survey of author opinion: project report Ian
Rowlands, Dave Nicholas and Paul Huntingdon, 18 March 2004:
http://www.publishers.org.uk/paweb/paweb.nsf/0/b93e724b16fbc7f880256ea9003b77ae/$FILE/ciber-pa-report.pdf
Institute for Information Law (IVIR): The Future of Levies in a Digital
Environment: http://www.ivir.nl/publications/other/DRM&levies-report.pdf
---------------
Spring 2005 – Copyrightlaws.com offering online
courses on "Managing Copyright Issues", "U.S.
Copyright Law", "Digital Licensing, and "Canadian and
International Copyright Law" --
Need to learn more about copyright law and licensing
but never seem to have the time to attend a course or
read an entire book on the topic? Let these practical
online courses guide you through the "copyright maze"
to provide you with a strong understanding of
copyright basics and managing your copyright and
licensing issues.
These are 8 week courses, comprising 16 lessons, which
are e-mailed directly to you. (Digital Licensing is 9
weeks, with 27 e-lessons.) To make sure you’re paying
attention, there is a quiz following each lesson.
Further information and registration is at
http://www.acteva.com/go/copyright ,
http://copyrightlaws.com , or e-mail
seminars@copyrightlaws.com
Sincerely,
Amritha
amritha@copyrightlaws.com

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Will copyright kill the blog? Information Week has a story for any fellow bloggers out there:
The Weblog Question (Jan 31, 2005) http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=35OKXRKT1IFACQSNDBESKHA?articleID=59100462


If you serve Public Health professionals or students, here is an article of interest to you:

B. Lynn Whitener, Virginia V. Van Horne, and Anne K. Gauthier
Health Services Research Tools for Public Health Professionals
Am J Public Health 2005 95: 204-207.

Thanks to Kris Alpi (PHHA-LIB mailing list) for the citation!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Library renovation story from North Carolina State University Libraries: http://technicianonline.com/story.php?id=010918
Did you ever watch Desk Set ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050307/ ) and figure that computers will never replace librarians? A news item that broke in yesterday's USA TODAY might be of interest to you: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2005-02-01-chasing-ai_x.htm . Would we still be needed if our researchers had a desk-top that read the available ejournal literature and helped identify relevant articles? What do we do that could not be easily replicated by machines, anyway?
MSN announced its new Search yesterday, and now the question in Forbes is "which search engine is best?" http://www.forbes.com/technology/2005/02/02/cx_js_0202polldujour.html . I think it may be time for librarians to start writing those letters (to editors, to bosses, open letters to patrons, etc.) in an effort to educate folks on how to evaluate search engines and search results. We already include tips on using search engines in our general library classes at my library. Let me know how you introduce your library or Internet use classes to these concepts, please.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Does your library need web hosting, email, and internet services? Do any of the 501(c)3 nonprofits or public schools you serve need those services? Grassroots.org provides free web hosting, email, and other internet services as a way to help nonprofits serve their communities. The application is online at http://www.grassroots.org/do/Tools .

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has a site that contains reports of use to anyone making plans that involve their audience using technology (and that means us librarians!). http://www.pewinternet.org/index.asp . A report they released on January 23rd has been making the news - "Search Engine Users: Internet searchers are confident, satisfied and trusting - but they are also unaware and naive." http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/146/report_display.asp . I imagine that the report will only reinforce what you have seen first-hand when teaching your users to evaluate what they see in their search results, and in their choice of search tools.
Some of the news links covering this report:
http://apnews.excite.com/article/20050124/D87QEK3O0.html
http://news.com.com/Study+Net+users+confused+about+search/2100-1032_3-5547932.html
And a good discussion on Lorcan Dempsey's blog http://orweblog.oclc.org/archives/000552.html, that leads back to the information literacy discussion - http://orweblog.oclc.org/archives/000540.html .
We just have to find a better way to reach all these 'satisfied' people - or not.

Monday, January 24, 2005

This article from Harvard may be of interest to you if you are getting ready to do a survey on your campus. "Drug Records, Confidential Data Vulnerable" http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=505402 .
The site that provided the loophole mentioned in the article was one that allowed people to design and conduct surveys.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

If you are exploring research options to evaluate your services, you may find this excellent research bibliography useful: http://research.mlanet.org/resbib.html . This bibliography was prepared by the Library Research Section of the Medical Library Association's Research Resources Committee.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I have been thinking about our role as librarians, as well as ways to market library services to a sometimes less-than-excited public. I think I have a draft of an analogy that might fit our circumstances, and help get across to our many audiences how important it is to keep connected to information and those that know where it lives.
A suspension bridge has been built, joining two geographic areas in a new-fashioned way, or as the first time either side has been joined to the other. News crews appear, interviewing the construction project manager, the steelworkers, the painters, the concrete workers, the architects, the funders. A crowd appears, expressing awe at the expanse gleaming in the sun. Numbers might get tossed around - the many square yards of concrete, the many miles of cable, the distance of the bridge above the ground, how long it took to plan and build the bridge. There might be a ceremony, attended by dignitaries, marking the bridge open and serving the public. Everyone acknowledges how great the bridge is and how it will impact mankind. But rarely does anyone interview the cable supplier or manufacturer. No reporter asks what types of cable were considered, how the cables were made of individual strands of wire, which cable type was selected and why, how the cable got to the worksite (well, maybe that last one might be newsworthy). Usually, there is talk about how many pounds of force the number of cables must be able to support, and sometimes the topic of cable comes up in discussion if there was any trouble acquiring it or if the cost was extraordinary. Otherwise, discussion about the intricacies of cable takes place at cable suppliers' association meetings, on the floor of cable manufacturing factories, and among engineers that design new versions of cable. Those involved with cable know that the number of suspension bridges might be reduced in the future in favor of new bridge styles, but they have responsibility to keep renewing the cables on existing bridges, as well as identify new uses and forms of cable to support emerging markets.
Information and its delivery is the cable of "suspension bridge" research projects that join mankind to new ways of living. Research results make big news, but rarely discuss in press releases or documentaries where information (or lack of access to information, or information providers, or librarians) played a role in the outcomes. Research would suffer and projects could not be built strong without information being a key support to the discoveries. While I personally think libraries, librarians, and information providers should be showcased every day on the 6 0'clock news for the vital role they play in the world, I don't mind playing the role of cable supplier in the scheme of things. Every once in a while, though, I would like to see a few documentaries covering ground-breaking research add discussion on the role that information played in leading to the results. It would be great if librarians and vendors would get together to do such a series, if only to educate the public that appear to think running a simple search through the internet constitutes research. Maybe this would work to reduce the comments of, "oh, you don't need to have funds to support a library; information is free and easy to get for everyone on the Internet." Librarians [and vendors] could start buying 'congratulations' ads in the newspaper whenever a research project hits the news, like the concrete company and architect's office does when a new bridge is built, just to remind everyone what our role is in the finished product.

Thank you for reading this, and please let me know if this analogy can be improved, changed, or if you want to challenge it. -Teri

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

An announcement I received from the WHO today might serve as a template for your library when you start offering a blog or RSS news feed:

"World Health Organization (WHO) news headlines and summary texts are now
available via "really simple syndication" (RSS). RSS is a straightforward
way for you to keep up-to-date with the latest news from WHO. To use RSS
on your computer you need to obtain a program called a News Reader, which
allows you to collect and display RSS feeds from your chosen web sites.
Every time a news article is published on the WHO web site, you will
receive an automatic update without having to visit our site. You will
find further information about RSS and details of how to access WHO RSS
feeds on the following URL:
http://www.who.int/about/licensing/rss/en/
Advantages of RSS technology are:
- you can scan the headlines of many different web sites via a single
browser window. When you see a headline that interests you simply click on
the link to visit the publisher's web site;
- you only receive information from the web sites that you have selected
eg BBC, NY Times, WHO etc;
- information is automatically updated on a regular basis;
- most RSS feeds consist of text only, so this technology is ideal for
slower internet connections.
WHO plans to launch additional RSS feeds for subjects such as disease
outbreaks and emergencies in the coming weeks."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

An additional resource that your library might want to use - Podcasting. Like a blog, Podcasts are sound files instead of text files, an "Audioblog" if you will (yes, that is a site: http://www.audioblog.com). This method of reaching out to our users could be similar to leaving a voice mail with instructions on how to access a certain database, or an update from your library's mascot on what events are coming up. Users then download to their portable handhelds or iPods to listen to while on the run, or they can listen to them on their desktop. I found a really good illustration of how these files can be more useful than a text file or HTML page on the directory site Podcast.Net http://www.podcast.net/viewshow.cgi/410 . What better way to teach someone American English idioms than through a sound file? [I wish I could have had this in a German form while I lived in Germany (in the before-time: before I discovered that computers could do more than add and subtract!). ] Users don't have to wait for large video files to load, and instructors don' t have to worry about the sound and visuals not matching up on the receiver's side. This technology won't replace great interactive computer-based instruction, but it might offer your users another 'co-pilot' for them the next time they head out to access an ejournal or search PubMed using MeSH.
If you are considering adding a blog to your library site, this BBC article may give you the push you need: Blog Reading Explodes in America http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4145191.stm .
And wouldn't you know - there is a great blog about libraries using blogs:
http://www.blogwithoutalibrary.net/ .
There is also a book on the subject (but I am not sure if this blog is listed-grin!). Review here:
http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/weblogs.htm
Using a blog to serve our users is along the same lines as having a phone for them to call us, a web site for them to access the collection, an email address for them to contact us...