Friday, December 17, 2010

Another proof to the statement that "Use does not equal support" - Delicious is being discontinued by Yahoo:

Here is a fix from LifeHacks: ate-delicious-bookmarks/

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Good article (actually 3rd of a 3 part series) on the future of Social Networking, by Mark Suster in TechCrunch:

He makes 8 predictions of how social networking will be moving. My question - which direction will our academic medical library be needing to take - or should we aim for them all? I look forward to hearing any and all of your comments.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Saw this news story today - couple bought a house that turned out to be a meth house:

Way back in 1999 when I was moving to a large city, I asked for a Lexus/Nexis search to be done on the house addresses that I had narrowed in on - doesn't anyone else do that? Sort of like a CarFax for houses... Your library, if you subscribe to that database, might offer to do that for people moving to your area. I doubt that a Real Estate broker would want to partner up with you, since they are only going to disclose what is legally required, and after all, are in the business of completing the sale.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another news item about LSSI taking over management of a public library, this time in Texas:

Ronald Dubberly, LSSI's President of Public Library Management Operations, was at the meeting. He has been a consultant on long range planning for many libraries It would be interesting to see how many of those turn into LSSI managed organizations. (Link to the Fort Worth Long Range Plan

I still can't access the Open Positions section of the LSSI site
As this seems to be the wave of employment into the future, I really want to see what the jobs call for in terms of knowledge, skills, and aptitude. I was particularly interested in the Saudi Arabia position listed currently. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Recent news items about LSSI and/or privatizing public libraries-

Private library plan off the table (Florida)
another article about this library system

Stockton, CA:

Santa Clarita, CA:

Camarillo, CA:

Ventural, CA:

Jackson, TN:

Monday, October 04, 2010

More links on the library outsourcing debate -
NYT: Anger as a private company takes over libraries

New York Times op-ed letters - includes letters from ALA, a librarian, a library board member, and LSSI

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interesting comparison of two news posts I saw today:

1. Should our public libraries be outsourced? Guess what, it's already happening

2. Information Age unexpectedly creating more need for libraries

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Book that might help us understand our users and maybe even our higher-ups better - "The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done". Book will be released tomorrow on Amazon.

Reviewed on Boing Boing here:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

New Pew Internet Report may be useful if you are still trying to talk administration into creating mobile resources for your audience:

Mobile Access 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Librarians could learn some tips on responding to negative press from another group that is often maligned - the American farmer. I saw this article in the Omaha World Herald:

Farmers defend way of life with Facebook, Twitter

This quote from the story is what connected their situation to ours in my head:
"We weren't part of the conversation," Prock said. "And if we aren't telling our story, other people will, and they'll tell it the way they want to."

Who is telling librarians' stories? Is anyone highlighting on Facebook or YouTube our successes, our frustrations?
I just received the greatest opinion/comment about two new Jing videos that I created for a third year med student class that I support. (you will know who wrote it when you read the comment):
"You sounded casual, friendly, and informative. Not at all stuffy or "Librarianistic". Anyone should want to use your services. Love, Mom"

Ok, so she isn't the most unbiased source I could find to rate said videos, but she is and continues to be a discerning library-user, so I will take the positive vibes. I will find out tomorrow if there were any comments from the med students or my fellow faculty members.

Here are the videos, if you wish to make your own comments - all are welcome:

a short video about our library's home page

a short video about the class Blackboard page

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Money is coming down from HHS to improve the primary care workforce, according to this story from California Healthline:
They are outlining plans to create additional residency slots for primary care. I sure hope that someone is planning to use some of the funding to increase medical library-based access to point-of-care and evidence-based medicine information resources for these additional 500 professionals in training...please say that information resources will also be supported, please?? I really want these (and all health) professionals to have their brain cells renewed through information access.
4 Reasons Why the Library Should Affect Your College Choice
Jeff Greer of US News has written my article for me. When I give tours of our medical library to prospective students (ranging from 7th grade up to graduate students), I ALWAYS stress that they should look at the libraries when they tour campuses, and give our library's features for comparison. Individual study rooms, wireless access throughout, student and public computers, copy machines (yes, they are still needed) with copy service (so the students are not required to step inside the library), 24/7 access through the web site, free search service (it is not asking us a favor to request a search - it is our job, and what we went to graduate school to do, funny enough), one-on-one education opportunities so that we can adapt best to the students' schedule... all of that and more. Students could purchase a house with the money they spend on education - they should consider the library their living room, central to their academic career. If they don't make use of the library effectively, it is like they never left the porch of their house.

I am so lucky to work with a team of librarians that believe in service - to the point that we strive to be the librarians we never had and wished for during our own academic careers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A book of interest to librarians, since we serve our fellow humans who utilize networks to interact with us and each other:
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, by Clay Shirky
-link to Amazon listing:

-coverage on the book in BoingBoing:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hang in there, Glamouramama v(^_^)v Boa - not all librarians are like the one you ran into in February:

During these days of eliminated positions and slashed budgets, we must remember to work together to meet the mission, not eat our own. And good work can be done on Facebook, Twitter, Google News, BoingBoing, in front of the candy machine, when getting coffee and/or water - it is called networking.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Our students usually head to Wikipedia at some time or other. Here is a blog entry about recent research on the validity of cancer information on Wikipedia - you may want to share the findings with your students during upcoming orientations:

Wikipedia Cancer Info Passes Muster

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A primary school in Manchester, England, is testing a new method of checking out books - by using childrens' thumbprint scans serve as their identity to check out books: Children, 4, 'to be fingerprinted to borrow school books from library'
The story says this comes after a plan was floated to use students' fingerprints to access payment of their school lunches.
This would put another spin on the information we don't keep around the library about our patrons. I imagine that the FBI would love to be able to pull fingerprints along with usage records during a Patriot Act visit.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thank you, Mr. Doctorow, for calling me and my colleagues 'awesome' - I have thought that of librarians for years! Here is a link that Cory Doctorow shared on BoingBoing early this morning that you will want to check out: Librarians Do Gaga - Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An answer to the question, "Why keep libraries open anyway?", as printed in the Dallas Morning Views Blog:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Marian the Cybrarian article in yesterday's Chronicle of Higher Education: came at a very opportune time for our library staff. This article just might make it easier to gear up and face the discussions on budgets and what we can do to serve our customers with less money. Thank you for writing this, Thomas H. Benton!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Who ya gonna call to fight looming library budget cuts? Ghostbusters! (as seen on BoingBoing)
Ghostbusters attack budget cuts at the New York Public Library

Monday, May 03, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

I saw this posting on the IT Consultant section of TechRepublic, and thought the resources it linked to fit libraries and their services. I figure I am an information consultant for my clients, and my job is to serve existing clients, and to acquire new ones. If this fits your idea of what other roles a librarian has, you might find the following useful.
Self-training for IT Consultants: Management and Marketing Resources
Some of the book titles that the article links to:
Managing the Professional Service Firm

How to Establish a Unique Brand in the Consulting Profession

Get Clients Now!

How to Acquire Clients

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pew Internet & American Life Project has released this report:
The Impact of the Internet on Institutions of the Future
This will give you much to discuss at your next library planning meeting, no doubt.
Google is now Topeka! Thought you would enjoy this post I found today: Here's to your day being filled with fun and no fools.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Library Blog Awards - Salem Press invites nominations of library blogs. . I couldn't tell what date the call for nominations was made, nor if there is a deadline for nominations, so please send in all of your favorite library blogs and see what happens!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dr. Paul Silvia of the University of North Carolina is the keynote speaker at today's Write Right Now! conference at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. If you write, or serve academic writers, this RefShare folder of his suggested readings might be useful references: . (Note: I added Dr. Silvia's book to the list.)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Article: "Libraries of the Future" in the current Research Information, Feb/Mar 2010:

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The most-used portion of most academic library collections is digital. This means that we as librarians are acting more as lost baggage claim agents than connectors of information.
Hypothetical situation:
Customer: "Why can't I open this full-text document? I could yesterday." Librarian: "Well, it seems that the vendor did not forward our check to the document supplier, so they now consider us former subscribers and have cut off our access to the 10 year collection of articles. Please enter your information on the document delivery request [formerly known as interlibrary loan request-th], and you should receive it within 2 business days."
I predict that academic librarians that are furloughed because of library closures or drastically reducing budgets could easily transfer into lost baggage claim agent jobs. We are used to dealing with angry, confused people asking questions about what they were led to trust would happen did not, in fact, happen when they needed it most. A library customer, who really needs a full-text document in order to get their paper done by Friday, accessing the library's online journals collection only to be denied access and told that someone would search for it and deliver within 2 days, can be compared to an airline customer who really needs their suit for tomorrow's interview and is told that they are denied said suit until someone searches for it and delivers within 2 days. Neither customer is fully served, but both have paid in money, time, and lost trust.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A great comic showing what our patrons/customers can experience when trying to access any resources with DRM:

The Brads-Why DRM Doesn't Work, or How to Download an Audio Book from the Cleveland Library

I know that we as librarians must limit access to resources by non-authorized users, but some of the access-granting hoops our authorized users face are unacceptable. Our jobs are to reduce barriers to information resources. Really.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Just visited a University of Omaha marketing class that was led by Bryan Jennewein, the social media director of Infogroup []. He had great tips for using social media to drive interest to your business. He spoke in general business terms, but I am going to insert the word "library":
-Transparency is the key. Include buttons/links to your library's Facebook, SMS text service, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr accounts on your homepage (and throughout your site, so include links on your catalog, your board page, and so on) - your customers will know right away that they can follow the library's activities using social media
-integrate your library's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube account, leading viewers of one to the other, ultimately learning more about what you have to offer
-make sure that your social media accounts also include your website address
-talk "with" your customers, not just "at". Consider allowing comments from social media customers. Even the negative ones give your library an opportunity to directly address perceived (or real) lapses in service or resources, and you can "make good" to a customer with your other customers watching
-keep up with what is being said about your library by using Google Alerts [], and/or the freemium version of AlterianSM2 []. (note from TH: possibly your library system has already signed up for the pro version of this service - check with the head office to see if they have, or are considering it.)
-address comments, good and bad, quickly and effectively. Have a plan in place on how response will be conducted/who will say it/what generally will be said, and then be ready to let your board/director/city administration know that it was handled.

Please let me know if your library has included social media in your general marketing efforts. I am collecting images of library homepages and Facebook pages. Here are the pages from the library where I work:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Any librarian out there that hasn't been following The newest guest blogger is (drum roll): Jessamyn West!
Stand up and cheer, and follow her postings on this great blog. In addition to searching updates on libraries and librarians on Google News, BoingBoing is one of my most frequently read sites on the Internet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interesting blog post mentioning librarians as fact checkers from the blog, Discovering Biology in a Digital World . The author, Sandra Porter, is attending ScienceOnline 2010 [ ], and comments on what she heard during a session on trust and critical thinking.

Speaking from professional experience, reaching out to scientists can be one of the most difficult jobs I have as a librarian. I truly admire and am in awe of reseachers, and consider it a high honor to serve their information needs. It is so hard getting them to tell me what they need, though - almost as if they don't want to appear lacking in knowledge. Also hard is to gain their respect as one that can locate information - I was once challenged in a PubMed class by a scientist who asked me who I thought I was that I could look up their information when I did not share their degree. I hope I responded effectively: I said that I was once a US Army librarian, and could look up information about tank parts, even though I could not drive a tank. My specialty is in locating information in databases, and it is my job to know how those databases/directories work in order to dig out the information needed. The scientist appeared to take my comment well, but I continue to work hard to reach out to the teams of hard-working researchers on my campus.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Online Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Sciences Librarianship
Applications are now being accepted
for University of Pittsburgh's inaugural online "HealthCAS" program from
June 2010-May 2011. Please encourage your up-and-coming librarians or a
promising hospital librarian in your area to apply! The cohort is
limited to 25 students. All students will complete an applied research
project in their community or institution as part of their studies.


The University of Pittsburgh invites applications to its online
Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Sciences Librarianship
(HealthCAS). This one-year 15-credit post-master's program is offered
jointly by the University's School of Information Sciences (iSchool) and
the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS). HealthCAS will provide
librarians with in-depth knowledge of the health care environment and
skills in managing information collections, resources and technologies.
Because it is offered online, students have the flexibility to fit
coursework into their working schedule. The project is made possible by
a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Applications are now being accepted for the online program which begins
in May 2010. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

For more information, visit or e-mail