Friday, December 28, 2007

Something to consider in the future when all the librarians retire on a Tuesday as (wrongly, in my and others' opinions) predicted, and library boards as well as leaders in academia want to fill the director positions with people from other professions. Story in today's Washington Post about the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian's director and his excessive spending habits (remember, he is working for the American citizens, after all, so he should have KNOWN that his spending habits would be public someday). Here is a link to the story:
(You may have to register to read the story.) The Director, Mr. West, received compensation in 2004 of $292,000 for the year. A quote from him tells much: ""I am grateful," West said, "for at least the past year to have been the highest-paid director of a museum in the Smithsonian. Even at that status I have yet to earn even two-thirds of what I earned as a private attorney in my last year" in private practice."
(I personally heard a similar quote from a new public library director that was trained in the realty field, when she was commenting on what her city paid her to direct a library and what she had 'given up' in commissions that year.) Different professions, different pay, folks. But I can imagine the discussion at some future committee meeting when they are considering replacing the retiring academic librarian with someone from another profession, say a physician or lawyer. That discussion will no doubt include some comments on what the new person will be giving up in income to take the directorship position, and I bet the salary will be increased to 'compensate'. Heh - too bad they can't start increasing salaries right now to better match other professions. After all, look at what the library directors 'gave up' by choosing library science instead of law or medicine or realty or used car sales...
The Washington Post article was found thanks to an entry in BoingBoing.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A new report from Research and Markets: Academic Library Website Benchmarks.
A link to the press release, which gives some great numbers on how the 84 North American college libraries responded to the survey questions:
(I would really love to know which library said they have 200 staff entering data on their website...)
The report is available for $85, or a pdf for $92.50. Direct link to the report page at Research and Markets site:
"Taking libraries to the street", a column by Ken Gray, talks about ways that libraries can be brought to the citizens of and near Ottawa without building a brand new building I really like his ideas of kiosks placed in areas of the city, bringing the online access to the library resources to EVERYONE. If we can have ATMs everywhere, why not library kiosks? Enlarge the current system of couriers that go between branches, and have them deliver materials to doorsteps. Place secure overnight boxes in neighborhoods. I know these seem to be radical ideas, but I sure hope that those in power around the world consider alternatives to the 'big library building' that forces patrons to come to it, rather than a better service model of going to the patron.
Libraries in Australia have a wonderful supporter - read Dr. Alan Bundy's article "Build a Library, Build a Better Country" here:

Dr. Bundy is President of Friends of Libraries Australia. Thanks to the Internet, his words have the power to support access to modern public libraries everywhere!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Interested in a dynamic career in library and information science (LIS) education, research, or executive level administration?

The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program is currently accepting applications for students beginning doctoral studies in the Fall of 2008. The deadline to apply is January 18, 2008. More information and application materials can be found at

The University of Pittsburgh and the American Library Association were pleased to announce in 2006 the creation of the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and designed to increase racial and ethnic diversity among our profession's next generation of LIS leaders.

The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship provides full tuition and annual stipends of $20,000 to Fellows for the first two years of study.

Partnering programs provide full tuition and stipends to their Spectrum Fellows for all remaining years of study. Six inaugural Spectrum Doctoral Fellowships were awarded in 2007. We are pleased to announce that Fellowships are available for individuals beginning doctoral studies in the Fall of 2008. To underscore the fellowship program's emphasis on leadership, all Spectrum Doctoral Fellows will attend the expense-paid E.J. Josey Doctoral Leadership Institute held in conjunction with the 2009 annual meeting of ALISE, the Association for Library and Information Science Education, and named for the University of Pittsburgh Professor Emeritus acknowledged as one of the LIS profession's leading diversity advocates.

To be eligible for a Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship:

* Applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

* Applicants should be of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander heritage.

* Applicants must exhibit intellectual curiosity, interest in the LIS field and its sub-fields (i.e., archival science; academic, school, or other types of librarianship, medical informatics; etc.), evidence of academic excellence, effectiveness as a communicator, the ability to excel as a scholar or executive administrator in the LIS field, and a strong commitment to diversity.

* Applicants need not have received a Spectrum master's-level scholarship to be eligible, but must meet the requirements of each participating program to which they are applying.

* Applicants must be admitted to one or more of the ten participating PhD programs by February 1, 2008.

The ten participating programs are University of Pittsburgh, University of Arizona*, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Michigan*, Rutgers University*, Simmons College*, Syracuse University*, University of Tennessee at Knoxville*, University of Texas at Austin*, University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Do you have those end-of-the-year blues? Looking for something to lighten your day off? Try Google Books for some business and professional humor:

Remember - these have only limited or snippet previews, or even none at all, but there should still be enough chuckles in there to lighten your load.

12/28/07 Followup: I have to admit posting this link as a teaser - it is actually a better link for you to use when demonstrating why your library is still the place to come instead of folks counting on Google Books for their reading sources. In the Business and Professional Humor section of Google Books, there were no full-text books available. Only limited or snippet previews, or none at all.
Knowing how teens use social media is useful to not only youth services librarians, but all librarians - after all, teens tend to grow up and access academic libraries or special libraries someday. Even more important to keep in mind - they may turn into decision-makers who have the power of increasing or decreasing funding, space, and missions for future libraries. Along those lines, you might want to check out this report:

The Pew Internet Project released a new report today on Teens and Social
Media. The report is available at

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

There has to be a good way to get the library involved with everyones' mobile phones. If you know of mobile library models that are out there, please send them to me at teresa.hartman (at)

One possibility for our library's excellent consumer health service ( ) to go mobile would be to tag on with the medical uses that are developing for cell phones. Here is an example in a story about a Canadian company joining up with a Korean cell phone company to turn cell phones into health monitors (as seen on iHealthBeat today):
Cell Phone Latest Tool in Health-Care Arsenal
Cell phone users would have their health monitored and easy access to consumer health information as well.

Another would be to develop a method for people to text their questions to us, similar to what Google has done for its mobile service:
We would need to make sure our replies are usable and readable on those tiny screens...

And if your library already has issued you a cell phone, start using Jott to send ILL reminders, program announcements, and reserve book notices to folks who would rather get a voice mail than an email: Jott .
(as seen on the TechLearning blog - "My Father Never Went This Way"

Monday, December 17, 2007

A new site you may wish to pass along to your board, Friends group, or your library organization's governmental relations committee:


It is an automated dialing site that allows one person to target an entire committee over the phone. I haven't tried it yet, but it appears to be a great help in contacting committee members to discuss issues. I like the slogan on the connect button, "Put me in touch with democracy!"

As seen on BoingBoing today:
Library protests in the news today - these protests have to do with proposed closings/budget cuts of libraries in Great Britain, Australia, and India.

Concerned Library Users Protest Closure

Dozens Protest Over Library Plans

Waving a Placard to Sae [sic] Our Library

Protesters Spreading Their Net

A great comment on the new Eee Laptop by Phil Shapiro: First Impressions of the Eee PC Laptop from a Public Library Point of View

A link to ASUS June 5, 2007 press release on the Eee, located at HardwareZone:

Are there any academic librarians using the Eee or other ultralight notebooks in their public access or instruction areas? I would like to talk with you if you are - thartman (at)
Are you considering adding audio books to your library's collection? You could start with those in the public domain, available at LibriVox .
Library Journal has a an article by Meredith Farkas' extensive research on librarian bloggers: The Bloggers Among Us -

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thanks to you, my reader, the User Education Resources for Librarians blog is ranked 53rd in the top 100 library blogs at TheLibraryShelf. You can check out the other highly ranked library blogs at the community's webpage:
Recent stories on Google News about digital libraries:

Digital Library Project Surpasses Initial Goal of 1 Million Books -

The Universal Digital Library ( also made Website of the Week at Voice of America -

The Montana State Library is transitioning to a digital library format. More in this story: Library Delays Digital Switch -

EU [European Union] Looks to Create Digital Library -

Monday, December 10, 2007

If you are considering a library exchange project, please consider Yemen. The current status of libraries in the capital city is outlined in this article: "Two Million People, Only Two Libraries"
Articles on Google about libraries remaining relevant:

"In Digital Age, Libraries Turn A Page On Services They Offer"

"Can the Library Remain Relevant In A Digital Age?"

"Guest Commentary: Public Libraries Provide Lifeline to Government"
In the Phillipines, librarians have to pass an license exam, and take an oath: "278 Pass Librarian Licensure Exam"
The article states that only 278 of the 868 test-takers passed the exam.
China punishes professor by transferring him to librarian position. "Professor Banned From Teaching for Publishing Open Letters"