Tuesday, July 29, 2008

If it wasn't for Dr. DeBakey and his skills, many people wouldn't have lived through their cardiac trouble. What I didn't realize was that his skills also brought about improved medical library service in the world, the establishment of the National Library of Medicine, and basically made it possible for me to work these last 16 years of my library career. Here is the tribute that the National Library of Medicine wrote about him:
Dr. Michael DeBakey, Medical Trailblazer And Longtime Friend Of National Library Of Medicine, Dies At 99
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/news/debakey_dies.html .

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Libraries have influence over international relations. If that statement surprises you, take a look at this news article about a recent proposed change to a subject heading by the Library of Congress:

Korean Librarian Halts Library of Congress Move on Dokdo

Here is the link to the LC Subject Headings Tentative (Unapproved) Weekly List 29, dated July 16, 2008: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/tentative/twls0829.html

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New report on library funding from OCLC. http://www.oclc.org/reports/funding
From their announcement:
"From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America
OCLC was awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore attitudes and perceptions about library funding and to evaluate the potential of a large-scale marketing and advocacy campaign to increase public library funding in the U.S. The findings of this research are now available in the latest OCLC report, From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America.
Among the findings from the report:
  • Library funding support is only marginally related to library visitation.
  • Perceptions of librarians are an important predictor of library funding support.
  • Voters who see the library as a "transformational" force as opposed to an "information" source are more likely to increase taxes in its support.
The report suggests that targeting marketing messages to the right segments of the voting public is key to driving increased support for U.S. public libraries."\

July 15, 2008 - Thanks to the comment by Krafty Librarian to this post, I am adding the link to the OCLC Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources report from 2005: http://www.oclc.org/reports/2005perceptions.htm
I linked to that report on this blog back when it came out. If you want to check out all of my posts that mention OCLC and their great reports and services, click here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A story from Australia about a business shutting its library and making its employees become "self-service researchers": Fairfax's Business Arm Shooshes the Librarians http://www.crikey.com.au/Media-Arts-and-Sports/20080709-Fairfax-library.html

Fairfax Media is "Australasia's leading media company", according to their homepage http://www.fxj.com.au/ . One would think that they, leaders in media, would know the value of the librarians, and the strength they give to the journalists. (An aside - has anyone tracked the stock performance of companies that have disbanded their libraries?)

As I have said many times to those about to graduate and apply for their careers - find out who has to pay for access to information, and if you have expert guidance. If you don't, ask for more salary.

I welcome any and all comments.
A review of a great book in the LA Times: 'The Dumbest Generation' by Mark Bauerlein
The opening lines of the review hooked me pretty fast: "In the four minutes it probably takes to read this review, you will have logged exactly half the time the average 15- to 24-year-old now spends reading each day. That is, if you even bother to finish"
I have the feeling that, if you work in an academic library, you already know and have seen most of what the author is saying, but you might want to get the book to give weight to your reports to higher-ups.

I really appreciate my colleague, Brian Erb, for passing this link on to me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Just learned about this post on the Teaching Tips.Com blog - 100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You've Never Heard Of , by Laura Milligan. I don't want to challenge the great librarian readers to my blog with that title - but a few of the 100 sites they list might be unfamiliar to you, or simply remind you that you might want to add them to your library's web pages for your staff and customers to find and use. I didn't link directly to the blog - knew you know how to locate it, if you are interested, and the reason is listed below.
Now, about that blog - I am running into more like it, and not sure who or what is behind it. It has only been in existence since last month, yet calls itself a 'leading resource'. No contact information, other than a fill-in form for you to give up YOUR information. I tried to locate information on who the author of the post is - but Laura Milligan, if that is truly their name, doesn't hang her shingle out well. I located other posts that were attributed to her - but nothing on the author herself. Feel free to write to me, Laura - your readers want to know more. Same for the other authors listed. This blog could be the equivalent of the hotel 'fine art' industry - there is a warehouse somewhere in a remote village, with desks staffed by huddled writers, cranking out blog posts to be spread over the 'net. The information on the blog seems correct - someone in the teaching field would have to vet it for me - but not knowing who is behind the service leaves a big hole in any evaluation of the site.