Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Announcing merger of INCOLSA and MLC=the new Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS)
http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/Digest/MLC-and-INCOLSA-Members-Approve-Merger-60350.asp

Organizations such as this should give libraries great power in getting group licenses, professional training, and resource sharing. I was lucky enough to tour the INCOLSA offices in 1998, and am still very impressed at their achievements. Maybe their merger with Michigan points the way for a national collaborative for libraries - wouldn't that be something?

Monday, December 28, 2009

A NYT article on CNBC about content providers considering charging fees to consumers:
Adding Fees and Fences on Media Sites
http://www.cnbc.com/id/34609255

A prediction from me that in the next few years, libraries will need to add a 'micropayment' budget line-item to access online information sources.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Here is a story about a new medical library that has been added to a hospital in Saipan:
Medical Library Unveiled at Hospital
http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?newsID=95511

If you know of a health organization that would want to add a medical library to better serve their professionals and patients, get them in touch with the local office of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine: http://nnlm.gov/. Consultants at the NNLM office are there to help with identifying grants and other funding, collection development tips, and networking suggestions for new medical librarians.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Librarians may have a lot in common with farmers. After reading the comments of the Nebraska Farm Bureau President, Keith Olsen (http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/local/article_0a5d86b0-e42e-11de-a18e-001cc4c03286.html ), I can see some similarities between our two professions:

1. We are both producing more with "fewer inputs" (in our case, budgets don't stretch to fit subscriptions and purchases, and reducing staff).
2. We must both tell our story "in a way that makes sense to the consumers of our production." (in our case, consumers equal any combination of citizens/faculty/staff/students/researchers/administration) And, in his words, "tell it with pride."
3. This quote fits us as well: “If we use too big of a hammer with too much force, we destroy relationships,” he said. “If we use too small of a hammer with too little persuasion behind it, we will appear timid and wishy-washy.”

Mr. Olsen urged the delegates present "to get out their toolboxes to protect their interests in a world that doesn’t understand production agriculture" - as we are urged as librarians to get our our toolboxes to spread the word about what we do to a world that doesn't understand all that it takes to deliver quality information resources and services.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Using Social Media to Make the Case for Supporting Library Services (from the BHIC blog - Bringing Health Information to the Community):
Webinar on Thursday, November 19, 2009 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EST
REFORMA and Webjunction are partnering to present a webinar about how non-profits such as libraries can use social websites to put access to information and libraries on the agenda of community leaders, elected officials, and local and national agencies. The content of this WebJunction and REFORMA co-sponsored webinar includes a background on social websites, how to use social websites for advocacy, national and international advocacy efforts by representatives from American Library Association (ALA) and the International Federation of Libraries and Institutions (IFLA), and suggestions on how to advocate for services for Latinos and Spanish speakers. Guest speakers include Meredith Farkas, Head of Instructional Initiatives at Norwich University; Fiona Bradley, IFLA Programme Coordinator ALP; Marci Merola, Director, ALA Office for Library Advocacy; Max Macias, Serials Technician at Portland Community College; and Loida Garcia-Febo, Assistant Coordinator New Americans Program and Special Services at Queens Library.
Registration is required for this event: http://evanced.info/webjunction/evanced/eventsignup.asp?ID=1623

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Use a librarian to fight cyberchondria!
Saw this in the Washington Post:
A glut of Google can give you a virtual fever

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110603473.html


from the article: "It's a paradox: The more you read in an attempt to reduce your fear, the more you try to figure things out, the more anxiety peaks. Very few people know how to navigate the Internet and evaluate information when they're anxious, and yet that's when they tend to go online."

If your patrons are searching for health information, please ask them to put the keyboard down and to contact your library. During my initial cancer diagnosis and beyond, my friendly neighborhood reference librarians have kept me from focusing on how many people die with my kind of cancer, and I can concentrate on what my health care team is telling me, and the hard work of healing. Yes, a librarian should use a librarian.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The New York Times Small Business section has a two-part article of possible interest to library staff:
One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do
Part One http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/one-hundred-things-restaurant-staffers-should-never-do-part-one/

Passing these around the next staff meeting should get some good discussion going on what constitutes good service in your library.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New report on Twitter and Status Updating from the Pew Internet & American Life Project: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/17-Twitter-and-Status-Updating-Fall-2009.aspx
From the site: "Some 19% of internet users now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others."

I thought this information might be of use to all of our library service planning.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pew Internet & American Life Project's Director Lee Rainie is continuing to present on ways that libraries can serve 'new' library users' information service and access expectations, based on the Project's recent report. Link to the page listing the upcoming and past presentations to library groups:

http://www.pewinternet.org/Presentations/2009/45--Surviving-in-the-new-information-ecology.aspx

Link to the January 2009 report: Adults and Social Media Websites http://www.pewinternet.org/topics/Social-Networking.aspx

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another article on Nevada County's (California) mulling over privatizing their library:

Privatizing libraries just the tip of the iceberg?

Links to other stories about privatizing libraries are located in this blog post:
I thought these two articles would be of interest:

Monday, October 12, 2009

As operating budgets dry up, more places are considering outsourcing or privatizing their library services. Here is an article from a California news site, The Union:
To Survive, Public Libraries Going Private
http://www.theunion.com/article/20091012/NEWS/910119996/1001/NONE&parentprofile=1053

Other posts on this blog regarding privatization/outsourcing library services:

Aug 16, 2007: http://libeducation.blogspot.com/2007/08/there-is-county-in-oregon-that-closed.html

Feb 29, 2008: http://libeducation.blogspot.com/2008/02/alaska-library-associations-newsletter.html

May 28, 2008 http://libeducation.blogspot.com/2008/05/i-have-written-before-about-jackson.html

March 2, 2009 http://libeducation.blogspot.com/2009/03/dartmouth-public-library-board-is.html

Thursday, October 08, 2009

United Kingdom librarians advocate value of libraries:

What Makes a Good Library Service?

I found it through this news article that came out yesterday:
Librarians fight back against cuts with "good library guidelines"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Man, I hope Keas has a librarian or two

I just saw this story on the New York Times site: Adding Health Advice to Online Medical Records http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/technology/06bosworth.html?_r=1 .
The reporter, Steve Lohr, says in the article:
"The long-term answer to improving the health of the nation’s population and curbing costs, experts agree, is to help people make smarter decisions day in and day out about their own health. And the most powerful potential tool in the march toward intelligent consumerism in health care may be the Web."

I completely agree. Speaking as a librarian that has delivered consumer health information (and used consumer health information to make my own decisions) now since 1992, my recommendation to Mr. Adam Bosworth, owner of Keas, Inc. (http://www.keas.com), is to hire a team of librarians to join up with the computer experts, and the result will be successful and life-changing to those that sign up for the service.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Libraries can help you find ANYTHING:
Library patron finds long lost father, thought dead for 25 years

Friday, October 02, 2009

In Missouri, school librarians need not apply for Teacher of the Year:
http://www.websterkirkwoodtimes.com/Articles-i-2009-10-02-166940.113118_School_Librarians_Need_Not_Apply.html

I am lucky to work in an academic setting where librarians are treated as professors - yes, we teach, and conduct research. I know it is not that way for everyone, unfortunately.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An Omaha-based group bought an ad in the Omaha World-Herald on Monday, proposing that all public libraries should be closed, since alternatives exist. They are garnering comments on their website as I write this: http://www.ideas4omaha.com/?p=324 .
Feel free to add your comment to the collection. This site might offer some great and wonderful discussion material for library school classes, too.
No one is certain about who is behind the site - the WHOIS registry information seems to be fictional.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New gadget - contact lens with LED capability - mentioned in this Wired article:
Digital Contacts will keep an eye on your vital signs
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/ar-contact-lens
This may give us yet another platform to promote our services/online catalogs/ejournal articles/ebooks... keep it in mind in your long long-range planning!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Recent decision on Fed's computer search activities may have impact for future library records seizures -
"Feds seizure of baseball players' drug tests ruled illegal" http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/08/26/steroids.ruling/index.html

Seems that the Feds had warrants and subpoenas for 10 players' database information, but they took 104 players-worth of drug test results.

To this non-lawyer librarian, it would follow that if the Feds were asking for records on a specific library patron, they had better not mess with the other patrons' information.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Example of a librarian's influence -
Librarian's Influence Remains With Jennifer Garner
http://www.dailymail.com/Entertainment/200908170940

May we all be remembered by those we serve.
Friday post - seen on yesterday's SFGate, the online home of the San Francisco Chronicle:

11 Things: Librarians not to mess with
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/19/NSTH197NOP.DTL

Which one fits you as a librarian? Or your coworkers? Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In case your library is planning new social media outlets to reach your audiences - this article may be of interest to you:

Healthcare providers plug into Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
http://www.informationweek.com/news/healthcare/patient/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=219200127

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Using social media to promote library services and resources is not without its drawbacks. And one recent event involved users when the target appears to be living in the Abkhazia region of Georgia:

Professor Main Target of Assault on Twitter
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/technology/internet/08twitter.html?hpw

Monday, August 03, 2009

From School Library Journal, August 1:
A 2.0 Toolkit: A hand-picked set of free Web programs to take to school this fall
http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6674058.html?industryid=47061

The tools that Shonda Brisco writes about would serve any librarian well. They include: Animoto, Audacity, Delicious, Google Applications, Glogster, SlideShare, VoiceThread, Wikispaces, and Zamzar. Take a look at the article and check out these tools!

Monday, July 20, 2009

William H. Wisner asks us to "Restore the Noble Purpose of Libraries" in an Opinion piece in the July 17th edition of The Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0717/p09s01-coop.html . A reference librarian at the Laredo Community College, he is the author of "Whither the Postmodern Library?" , published in 2000.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Research And Markets announces this new report: "The Survey of American College Students: Student Library Research Practices & Skills" http://www.businesswire.com/news/google/20090706005565/en

Only 400 American college students were surveyed for this EURO 86 report - I ask any stats experts out there if this is a large enough group? Direct link to order the report, or to see more of the findings:

The list of topics covered is extensive, and should offer some insight to those planning new programs:
Chapter One: Percentage Of Students Who Have Ever Been Required To Turn In A Paper Exceeding Approximately 10 Double Spaced Typed Pages In Length For Any Of Their Classes

Chapter Two: Percentage Of Information Needed To Complete Research Assignments That Comes From General Google, Yahoo And Other General Search Engine Searches

Chapter Three: Percentage Of Information Needed To Complete Research Assignments That Comes From Wikipedia Or Other Wickis

Chapter Four: Percentage Of Information Needed To Complete Research Assignments That Comes From Online Databases, E-Books Or Online Journals Offered Through Your College Library

Chapter Five: Percentage Of Information Needed To Complete Research Assignments That Comes From Books, Magazines Or Other Print Resources Offered Through Your College Library

Chapter Six: Percentage Of Information Needed To Complete Research Assignments That Comes From Other Sources Not Previously Cited

Chapter Seven: For The Last Research Assignment That You Received, How Did You Find Most Of The Information That You Needed?

Chapter Eight: Percentage Of Students That Within The Past Year Have Asked For Assistance From A Librarian In Finding Any Kind Of Information Resource Such As A Book, Database, Or Other Library Source

Chapter Nine: Which Statement Pretty Much Sums Up What Your Own Professors Tell You About Using The College Library

Chapter Ten: Percentage Of Students That Agree With The Following Statement: My College Library Helps Me Find The Information I Need For My Research Projects

Chapter Eleven: Percentage Of Students That Agree With The Following Statement: I Feel I Am Well Versed In What The Library Has To Offer And Can Use The Various Databases And Collections Easily Or Learn To Use Them Easily

Chapter Twelve: Percentage Of Students That Agree With The Following Statement: I Know How To Contact A Librarian Online When I Need Help

Chapter Thirteen: Percentage Of Students That Agree With The Following Statement: I Am Confident In My Ability To Research And Write A Research Paper For Most Of My Courses

Chapter Fourteen: Percentage Of Students That Agree With The Following Statement: I Know How To Prepare Reference

List Of Tables

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A creative method to keep branch libraries open in Providence, RI -
City's Branch Libraries Go Their Own Way


If you want an argument for your next weeding venture, take a look at this blog:
Awful Library Books
http://awfullibrarybooks.wordpress.com/
I saw it mentioned on BoingBoing, and in this article on School Library Journal's site:
http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6666677.html?industryid=47078

Friday, June 26, 2009

Unfortunately, librarians already knew this:

How People Research Things (as seen on Graph Jam)
http://graphjam.com/2009/06/25/song-chart-memes-people-research/

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ray Bradbury is a fan of libraries:
Bradbury, Community Join Forces to Save Library [Ventura County Star]
http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2009/jun/14/bradbury-community-join-forces-to-save-library/
The fundraising goals of the San Buenaventura Friends of the Library could offer a model for other library groups working to save their community libraries.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If your library is one of the rare ones that has open positions, where does privacy begin and end for your applicants? If you are in Boseman City, Montana, applicants for city positions are asked to give up their login information and passwords for social networks. This story showed up on BoingBoing today: Bozeman City job requirement raises privacy concerns
http://montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=10551414&nav=menu227_3

I expect to conduct myself accordingly online, in order to not bring embarrassment to my employer, my professional colleagues, or my family. (Crossing my fingers as I write that, actually.) I think the suggestion to solve the social network privacy issue is embedded in the article: the city should set up their own page on each network, and 'friend' any job applicants, so they would be able to view the pages that the people have created. But I think the city is being short-sighted in only seeking social network information. There are so many other places they could look to see someone's character. What about the backgrounds of all the people the person plays poker with each weekend or has coffee with down at the diner each morning? How about their tithing history at their church, or even if they belong to a church or not, and what type? Why not go into their genealogy, and see what skeletons live in the family history closet? Let's supeona their check-out list at the library, and even give them demerits if they don't have a library card. How about calling 3rd grade teachers to ask what their study habits were, if they tattled on their classmates, told falsehoods, and if they showed initiative?
As an academic librarian, I have done my level best to help the current generation of students (as well as my own children) to understand that what they put on social networks may come back to haunt them when it comes time to apply for a job. But I don't think that Bozeman City's method of inspecting the actual accounts on social networks in order to "ensure employees will protect the public trust" are that effective. For one thing, unless they have their skilled library staff hunting down the names of applicants, how will they know they have been told all of the digital goodies?
The most disturbing thing about all of this - when does a person get the chance to better themselves and overcome a possibly shady past? Are we all sentenced to be the person we were 20-10-5-1 year(s) ago forever? Really?
Update (6/22/09) the city has discontinued this practice: Bozeman to job seekers - we won't seek passwords http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10269770-38.html

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hospital Library Closes to Public, Goes Electronic
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2009/06/09/news/local/doc4a2dc49ab8929495705495.txt?show_comments=true#commentdiv

This article details the upcoming closing of the library at Rapid City Regional Hospital (South Dakota). I know the librarian from professional conferences, and she did everything 'they' tell us to do when facing a cut in library services. She is an outspoken advocate for access to information; she did any other job that was assigned to her (and some that she went out and tracked down); but after she served the hospital for 24 years, the hospital decided to cut the library anyway. They say they will have electronic resources available for their internal audience, but without a librarian to select appropriate resources, negotiate electronic licenses, remove network barriers and trouble-shoot broken links, I can't really call the pile of electronic url's a library. Take a look at the comments, and if you feel led to comment, make it stronger by keeping it focused and brief.
This story proves one thing - it doesn't matter how good a librarian you are (and Pat Hamilton is one of the very best!) - if the decision is to close you down, you get closed.

Update 6-15-09 - this story was featured in the Library Journal: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6665085.html

Monday, May 18, 2009

Libraries facing extinction? The weird world we live in at the moment has adminstrators and officials seeking to cut library operating budgets even more than they have been over the past 10 years, based on the bad economy. But the bad economy has thrifty customers coming in droves to the libraries, using the available services and looking for more. We are in the difficult position of turning away people that we have worked so hard to attract - which is why I call this a weird world. 

In this article about proposed Brooklyn Public Library cuts

there is a great quote that should be spread far and wide to all those in power over budgets, be they be public, private, health, special, education, or academic libraries:

"“Mayor LaGuardia kept libraries open seven days a week during the Great Depression,” [Brooklyn Councilman Vincent] Gentile noted at a recent Community Board 10 meeting. “The more the economy gets worse, the more important the libraries become.”"
Librarians in danger of extinction? A couple of items found on the web today:

A great Opinion post at the Toledo Blade: Who Needs Librarians Anyway?

Librarians Set To Be Stamped Out? (Camden News, UK)
the author describes the makeover of the library, using technology to save money:
"It will involve the introduction of a service known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), replacing front-counters with self-service machines like those kind already seen in supermarkets. 
Meanwhile, “information plinths” will allow library users to approach a member of staff for help."
According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd ed., a plinth is "2. a square base or a lower block, as of a pedestal" In my opinion, it sounds great to put all librarians on a pedestal, but I am not sure it leads to the best customer service in the end. 
Article on Wolfram Alpha on Reuters this morning:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Follow-up to the WolframAlpha story on the 13th - WolframAlpha computational knowledge engine is now live:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wondering what you should put in your library's blog in order to best reach your customers and help them find more use in your collection? Here is a great example of how a promotion company is educating & entertaining their customer base:

The Giveaways Guru 

Take a look at it, and see how your library could use this media format to reach new and existing readers.

(p.s.: I have used this company, and have found it to be a very good source of our library marketing materials. This is an unsolicited comment, by the way - just hoping it helps you if you are looking for a reliable company. -th)
Search engines are in the news this morning.

Here is a link to an article on the expected launch of a new search engine: Wolfram Alpha by Mathematica: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2346226,00.asp

Homepage for Wolfram Alpha: http://www.wolframalpha.com/index.html . 
The current message on the site says that it will be launching this month.



Google is launching a new set of search tools that a poster on ZDNet's Education site says might be the edge of Search 3.0: http://education.zdnet.com/?p=2543

Here is an article in PC that gives more description of the Google tools:





Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Libraries are still facing tough times - since the Internet came up, I think libraries have faced tough times each year, bucking the perception by those that make budgetary decisions that information is just floating around, free for the taking. Now the "bad economy" is the underlying reason for cutting library budgets. (I didn't really see a great increase in budgets when it was a "good economy", though.)
Two recent stories define the latest "tough times":
1) Don't Rip Up Your Library Card Just Yet, by Jeff Ackerman, in Grass Valley, CA's The Union:
I like a quote in this editorial: "Jails never need to have bake sales to raise money."

2)I just learned that the librarian in the Rapid City Regional Hospital in South Dakota is being 'let go', and asked to create an unmanned digital library before they leave. The librarian is one of the hardest working librarians that I have ever met - taking on new and varied jobs within the health care center; promoting the specific time-saving and patient care-improving information services; eagerly seeking professional education opportunities to keep up with the changing library environment; and delivering on promises made. This health care center example joins the Wall Street Journal and EPA libraries example in causing chills for any librarian anywhere: it doesn't matter how good you are, or how hard you work to be all you can be to the team - city administration, college administration, hospital administration - your library or your position can be eliminated. 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

They say we are due for Internet brownouts next year:
Beware surfers: cyberspace is filling up

And by 2012, the "traffic jam could last all day long."

In our library, we have planned for tornado, earthquake, pandemic, and other interruptions to our services, but we haven't planned for "no more Internet." Since more and more of our information resources are through online vendors, is it time to renew my CDL and become a trucker again? Is there a future for our method of reference and information delivery if the Net slows down to a crawl? (I would rather not relive the dial-up modem days, thank you.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Managing digital information: the issues for libraries
http://www.iwr.co.uk/information-world-review/features/2241165/managing-digital-information
This article in Information World Review gives a world viewpoint on the issues surrounding managing and preserving digital content.
Saying Yes to No - Greg Cootsona, author of the book "Saying Yes to No", posted a guest blog at CNBC that I thought would be of interest to my fellow stressed out librarians:

The Urgency of Strategic Breaks
http://www.cnbc.com/id/29636690/

from the post: "The match in front of us is urgent, but there is nothing more urgent than strategic breaks. Because when we rest, we can go deep. And we need to dig down when the match gets tough. It’s at the depths that we find creativity and innovation. When we want a new insight on the pitch we’re about to make, the speech we want to write, or managing that challenging employee, we need to move into the deeper functions of our brain. When we are constantly pushing ourselves, it’s simply impossible to do our best work."

I wish you the best strategic break ever - boy, do we all need one!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In case your library is following the swine flu news:

HealthMap is a good site - it is a global disease alert map
http://www.healthmap.org/en

It also has a Twitter account which includes alerts and other useful links to news/resources:
http://twitter.com/healthmap

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

If restaurants can use Twitter to tempt diners
(according to this Reuters news item: http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE53I11Z20090420 ),
why not libraries?
A quote from the story gives a warning for already over-worked library staff who are considering adding this duty to their list:

"It does take time and effort and care and feeding," said Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing company. "If you go silent it shows. It's like not answering the phone."

Monday, April 20, 2009

The United Nations World Digital Library has launched:

This library, located at http://www.wdl.org/en/, currently has 1180 items from 8000 b.c. to present day from the world's cultures. 

This site promises to continue growing - keep checking back to see what else has been added. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In addition to taking part in a Web 2.0 class, I recently created an online class for public librarians covering consumer health information:
Consumer health information resource service [CHIRS] & Go Local Nebraska

CHIRS will be 25 years old in 2010, and is a fantastic resource for the citizens of Nebraska and their loved ones. If your state is considering expanding their consumer health information services, give the McGoogan Library a call to find out how to do it right. As far as I have been able to determine, Nebraska is the only state that offers full consumer health information service to EVERY citizen in the state. (If you know of another state, please drop me a comment -th)
The Go Local Nebraska directory is part of the national project to connect each state's health services contact information to the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus.

Monday, March 23, 2009

News in Information Today's Weekly News Digest from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL):
ACRL Issues New Strategic Thinking Guide for Academic Librarians [in the new economy]
http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/wndReader.asp?ArticleId=53121

Here is a direct link to the 9 page Guide:
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/future/acrlguide09.pdf
Article in the BMJ: Google Needs Better Control of Its Advertisements and Suggested Links http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/338/mar18_1/b1083

The authors discuss the need for Google to strengthen its filters to better match ads to search terms.

If you have ever experienced searches on Google displaying inappropriate ads, please submit your comment as a Rapid Response to BMJ.

My personal aside - our job as librarians to teach our customers to be better human filters of the Internet is not over, not by a long shot.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We librarians don't get old and stagnate - we keep instructing others using the new technology, as this CNN news article illustrates:

Woman, 67, braves job search with online posse

Go, Ms. Lindsay, Go! 

Friday, March 06, 2009

Can one stop customers from using web 2.0 technology to rate services? There are some doctors that are trying to do this:
Docs Seek Gag Orders To Stop Patients' Reviews
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090304/ap_on_hi_te/med_gagging_patients

I view ratings in Amazon when I am considering purchases of appliances, for example - but only for consideration, not as the final word. Personally, I don't trust rating sites, doctor or otherwise. Ratings can be skewed. Those that rate may have the best intentions, or they could be working for the competition, or simply be humans with a grudge. Maybe if the AMA and the AOA would develop an official site that showed evaluative material for physicians, the customer-driven sites would fade into the background.

What would our profession think of a new library/librarian rating site? If ALA and the Medical Library Association came up with rating sites for our customers to check out our scores, how would we deal with that professionally and personally? (note: academic librarians may already be rated on sites like http://ratemyprofessors.com)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Op-ed piece on value of academic libraries in March 4th edition of The Seattle Times:
Academic Libraries Foster Key Skills In Next Generation
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008812914_opinc05libraries.html

(as seen on the academicpr.ala.org mailing list-th)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Scholarly Communication 101 - a 2009 ACRL roadshow

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is taking scholarly communication on the road in 2009 with “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics.” Recognizing that scholarly communication issues are central to the work of all academic librarians and all types of institutions, ACRL is pleased to offer this free three-hour workshop to libraries across the country. Complete details on “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” are available on the ACRL Web site at http://acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/scholarlycomm/roadshow.cfm.

Led by two expert presenters, this structured interactive overview of the scholarly communication system highlights individual or institutional strategic planning and action. Four modules focus on new methods of scholarly publishing and communication, copyright and intellectual property, economics and open access. As a result of the workshop, participants will understand scholarly communication as a system to manage the results of research and scholarly inquiry, enumerate new modes and models of scholarly communication and select and cite key principles, facts and messages relevant to current or nascent scholarly communication plans and programs at their institutions. “Scholarly Communication 101” is appropriate for those with new leadership assignments in scholarly communication as well as liaisons and others who are interested in the issues and need foundational understanding.

Institutions interested in hosting “Scholarly Communication 101” should apply by Monday, April 13. Hosts must partner with, and invite staff from, at least one other institution. The ACRL Scholarly Communication Committee will review applications and select several locations for the workshop, based on the number of requests and capacity. The committee will aim for geographic diversity and notify applicants of their status by Friday, April 24.

The application form and complete details, including additional qualifications and hosting responsibilities, are available on the ACRL Web site at http://acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/scholarlycomm/roadshow.cfm.

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ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing more than 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.
Check out this post on BoingBoing about the proposed H.R.801 by Rep. Conyers, which would allow publishers to charge for access to taxpayer-supported research:
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/03/proposal-to-allow-pu.html
The comments appear to include librarians, scientists, and a publisher.

I have added a widget from Open Congress on the right side of this blog so you can track the status of the bill.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Dartmouth public library board is the latest group discussing if they should outsource their library. They began considering privatization back last August:

Library Board discusses privatization
AID=/20080806/PUB02/808060412

Here are some recent op/ed pieces about the planning:

Library professional speaks out on possible library privatization

Private library may cost more, deliver less

No "white knight" for our libraries

Bring facts to discussion of outsourcing

And if you wish to see other posts in this blog about outsourcing, here is a link that should show them:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the Library 2.0 world, it may not serve you well to appear like you are having fun while learning about new technologies that you teach to your customers... Here is a story from Nebraska on an audit that has been called based upon a YouTube video of state library employees assembling a Rock Band video game -

http://www.action3news.com/Global/story.asp?S=9900719&nav=menu550_2

Link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I84RvK7LuE

Link to the Nebraska Library Commission response: http://www.nlc.state.ne.us/blogs/NLC/2009/02/commission_response_to_state_auditors_report.html

And here is the grant application at ALA for the "Libraries, Literacy, and Gaming" program, intended to support literacy development in young people ages 10-18, due March 20th:
http://librarygamingtoolkit.org/rfp/

[Posted here as part of my continuing education participation requirements for the Library 2.0 class.-th]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Under the category of Challenge - the public library board in Topeka, KS, has voted to restrict 4 books on sex based on a challenge from the community:
From the International Herald Tribune
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/02/20/america/NA-US-Library-Sex-Books.php

Another news story on this event, with responses from the library community:
Library Peers Dismayed at Board's Decision
http://www.cjonline.com/stories/022109/kan_396302566.shtml

And on the Topeka ABC affiliate's web page, a local lawyer says that the ACLU may become involved. Check out the poll at the bottom of the page - it is currently ahead on "Yes, children must be protected from exposure to certain books" http://www.ktka.com/news/2009/feb/20/local_attorney_people_want_legal_action_against_li/
This week's assignment in the Library 2.0 class is to explore del.icio.us, the social bookmarking site. Since I am not one to use the bookmark feature on my browser, I was highly skeptical about the usefulness of this site. After exploring it, however, I can see some instances where it would be useful as a sharing tool for bookmarks in the library setting.

My account address is: http://delicious.com/biblioteks . I added the websites from the ABCs of DNA class that I took last Friday - I figured those would be useful to others, and I wanted to see if this would be a suitable sharing tool. I had to enter each url separately - too bad there doesn't seem to be a 'bulk upload' tool like Flickr has for photos! Since I was entering them off of a PowerPoint presentation handout, I would have liked to upload them all and sort out the tags later.

I also noticed that I can't put this set of bookmarks into their own category on the page - it appears that they will just be listed with all future bookmarks by 'most recently added', or 'alphabetically'. In the early days of browsers, one could at least create headers within the list of bookmarks (not sure if that is still the case - I really don't use the bookmark feature anymore). I will go back and add the class title to the tags so I can search and find/share the set that way.

It was interesting to see how few people had our library homepage included in their account. We have talked about adding a 'share this' feature on our web pages in the next generation of our web site - this may increase the number of folks that include our link.

After starting up the account, I will take some time during the rest of the week to check out other folks' list of links. I will also check to see what sort of archiving is available for users' accounts, after the crash last week of another bookmarking site.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back it up - back it up - back it up. That rule holds for Library 2.0 tools as well. I know we are going to talk later in the class about social bookmarking, but I saw a story on SlashDot about Ma.gnolia, and how its users have lost their bookmark lists forever:


I have over 580 posts on this nearly 6 year old blog, and am looking for a method to archive the posts for my own use. Let me know if you can recommend an archiving method for a blog, so I don't have to depend on Google to hold my history. Thanks!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not sure if this falls into the Challenge or Controversial category, but submitting it here for your consideration - yesterday's edition of The Telegraph has a story about British libraries responding to requests to place religious books on the top shelf:

Bible moved to library top shelf over inequality fears
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/4687077/Bible-put-on-top-shelf-in-move-to-appease-Muslims.html

[Note that the title of the article is different from the title of the link-hmmm. -th]
New document from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in the UK:
Guidance on the Management of Controversial Material in Public Libraries
The link to the full document is on this announcement page:
http://www.resourceshelf.com/2009/02/19/uk-guidance-on-the-management-of-controversial-material-in-public-libraries/

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals [CILIP] has endorsed the document, and has developed a free training course they will deliver in 6 locations: http://www.cilip.org.uk/training/training/controversialstock_CILIPTrainingDevelopmentMLA.htm

ALA has links on its site pertaining to Challenges:
http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/statementspols/statementspolicies.cfm#challenges
and workbooks to develop selection policy, as in this example: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/challengesupport/dealing/ALA_print_layout_1_231032_231032.cfm

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blogger has created a great set of YouTube videos on how to get more out of your blog experience, easily located on their channel here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/BloggerHelp
This could be a great example for libraries to follow to create their set of support videos.

The McGoogan Library of Medicine has a wonderful set of support Flash videos, thanks to Heather Brown, MA, (she is now head of the ILL department) posted on our website:
http://www.unmc.edu/library/guides/index.html

I hope to learn in the Library 2.0 class if these are suitable to post on YouTube on the library's channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/UNMCLibrary
(I have embedded the channel on the right side of this blog for purposes and duration of the Library 2.0 class.)
For those of us in the NNLM 13 things online class, and dedicated library bloggers everywhere - the comic strip Non Sequitur may have us in mind. Check out Wednesday, February 18's comic at this site:
http://news.yahoo.com/comics/nonsequitur

I don't think any of us are ready for Bloggers Anonymous yet, or are we?? Let's blog about that...

Monday, February 16, 2009

To add to your library advocacy file:

A great story about the value of school librarians in the New York Times:
In Web Age, Library Job Gets Update
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/books/16libr.html?ref=technology

There is a good video on the 21st Century Librarian embedded in the article as well, following the story.

Naturally, don't miss the comments section at the end of the story:
http://community.nytimes.com/article/comments/2009/02/16/books/16libr.html

Also, Illinois has found an unusual method to fund libraries and library programs. They are issuing a special edition license plate with President Obama's image on it:
Obama Temporary License Plates Newest Collectors Item
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2009/02/obama_license_plate.html

Friday, February 13, 2009

Join me during the next 10 weeks as I work through this online class with fellow life-long learners across the United States (and other nations?): "Learning 2.0, or 13 Things to explore and learn about Web 2.0 tools"
http://nnlm-l2.blogspot.com/

I will be posting my homework comments to this blog, and linking to my classmates' blogs to showcase their comments, in addition to my usual postings about the library world in general. I hope you gain new insight on how you can use technology to aid your own lifelong learning. and maybe some tips that you can use in your library.

I welcome my classmates who may be new readers to this blog, and remind all readers that I enjoy receiving comments. (Of course, all comments to this blog are moderated, meaning they are read first before posting to the blog.) I look forward to much sharing of opinions and facts in future postings.
CDC has added African American media resources to its online newsroom:

Here is a direct link to the new media resource page:

Please share this information resource with your community's media outlets. This gives you the opportunity to be viewed as a "source" for them - capitalize on it!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My mom in Missouri called me and said she had just read a great set of
essays in the March Woman's Day magazine on how libraries helped people with health issues, and that one of the essays mentioned an National Library of Medicine librarian in Colorado
(but not by name). I checked, and verified that the author of the essay
had been taught by Dana Abbey, the NNLM-MCR Consumer Health Liaison for
our region. Congratulations Dana on the international coverage for your
work! As a fellow educator, I always hope that what I teach sticks - you
now know for certain that you made a difference in another individual's
life. Well done.

I also learned that this story is part of an eight-year partnership with
ALA's "Campaign for America's Libraries". I congratulate all of our public
libraries on their work with their communities - you make a huge
difference, and it is wonderful that a professional organization like ALA
helps spread that message. Your very important work with your community
members impacts my academic and medical center audience as well. Thank you
for a job well done. I look forward to the next installment - how
libraries have helped individuals with finance issues.

Here is a link to the ALA press release:
http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2009/february2009/campaignwdhealth.cfm

and a link to the original Woman's Day article:
http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/advocacy/publicawareness/campaign@yourlibrary/sponsorship/womansdaymagazine/health%20article.pdf

[message above originally sent out to the MCMLA discussion list on 11 Feb 09-th]

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Article from Reuters on new recommendations that drug companies and doctors keep a bigger distance from each other: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE5130ZZ20090204?sp=true .
What about the relationship between librarians, library associations, and publishers? What if we didn't have publishers' support for our conferences? Could be that our relationship with publishers is different than doctors with drug companies - for one thing, librarians aren't paid individually by publishers to 'push' their product to patrons. And in our case, when one is sitting at a conference lunch and receiving a gift from a publisher, usually libraries are the ones that paid the money to cover the bill - not the ones we serve.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Good news: ALA announces one-year reprieve from the Anti-Lead Law:
http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2009/January2009/leadlawstayed.cfm

(Thanks to Siobhan Champ-Blackwell for this news update.-th)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Broadband is mentioned in the stimulus bill. One explanation of what is included can be found in Yochai Benkler's article on the TPMcafe: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/01/30/broadband_stimulus/

I can see possible roles for community librarians if the Senate version is passed:
"The Senate bill is also the first serious effort to invest in skills training and connecting the availability of physical infrastructure to programs to teach people how to use the systems. An incredibly important, and oft ignored, facet of the problem. "

(I found this article through BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/02/03/broadband-stimulus-p.html)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Of interest to smaller libraries:
Need help with handling your billing duties (overdues, Interlibrary Loans)? I just learned of this online service: FreshBooks http://www.freshbooks.com/tour.php?ref=631
They even send the invoices to your patrons - no more stuffing envelopes!
Great Britain proposes universal broadband - story from Reuters:
http://uk.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUKTRE50S35W20090129

After my tour of the great state of Nebraska a couple of years ago to visit public libraries across the state,
http://www.unmc.edu/apps/library/travelog/log.cfm
I came back impressed by the towns we visited, and saying that broadband should be deployed to rural areas just like they did the Rural Electrification Administration. People would still be hand-milking cows by lantern-light and using foot-pedaled sewing machines if that system hadn't come into being - no corporation was willing to pay for the extra costs to get electricity to rural areas. Currently, we have 60 million Americans living rural - they should have broadband to quickly access information and possibly to use to make a living right where they reside. There is good living to be done in rural areas - you shouldn't have to move to an urban area just to ditch the modem (or possibly to get Internet access at all).

C'mon, President Obama, sir - would you suggest that the United States also go for universal broadband? Think of the jobs that would be created, and the millions of citizens that would benefit from such a project! I know that the stimulus plan includes improving roads and bridges - this is also a road/bridge that needs improving. I would hope that somewhere in the hundreds of billions, there is room to include this project.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Before the 'net crashes due to the increased video load as we all try to see the history-making inauguration today, I wanted to post these positive news items about the value of libraries in this economy:
From the Wall Street Journal: Folks Are Flocking to the Library, a Cozy Place to Look for a Job
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123197709459483585.html

and from CNBC, a commentary about the article above: Unlikely Destination For The Successful Job Searcher http://www.cnbc.com/id/28751365 The really great take-away from this article: the author's company, Vault.com is "joining forces to provide free career coaching, research support, and information sessions next week at the library. " Are there any new partnerships you can create with your library's customers or higher-ups? Public libraries could join with the city/county administration... academic libraries could join with campus career centers - the possibilities are enormous, and benefits likewise.

I am proud to say that I have used the library while searching for every job I have ever had, way back to 1977, when I applied for a newspaper delivery job...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is your library still considering adding social networking links to the services and/or collection? Does the committee in charge of looking at this new level of marketing/service wonder if there will be any patrons to use it after the hard work is done? Take a look at this new Pew Internet & American Life Project report: Adults and Social Networking
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/272/report_display.asp
Creating a MySpace or Facebook site for your library might not seem such a far-fetched idea, now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Audience development officer" That could be the new official title instead of "librarian" in Edinburgh, Scotland:
http://news.scotsman.com/edinburghcouncil/Strike-threat-as-librarian-title.4865123.jp

Take a look at the comments listed at the bottom of the story - patrons are patrons the world around.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Like your eyes haven't rolled enough today... here is a story about how the new law intended to keep lead out of children's toys may result in kids being barred from the library:

Congress bans kids from libraries?
http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/74940-Congress-bans-kids-from-libraries/

Our library, at a medical university setting, could end up posting a sign saying no one allowed if aged 12 or under. None of our books are intended for children's use, but kids have come in here with parents before. Can't say as I know of ANY book chewing incident by humans or animals, though.