Saturday, September 07, 2013

Also tweeted this @thartman2u - with a hat-tip to Barbara Jones, NNLM in Missouri:

In his editorial in JAMA Internal Medicine, Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD stated his support for health sciences librarians in the following quote.

""Medical librarians are far more adept at navigating the entire canon of medical knowledge than are physicians, but their skills have not been leveraged for POCL. While a librarian on staff in every office or on every medical team may be fanciful, a remote librarian service is not. In one study, a just-in-time information consultation service was shown to deliver useful answers in less than 15 minutes to clinicians’ real-world questions submitted via smartphone.8 Health care systems should consider investing in informaticians who search the medical literature, patient records, and the system’s own “big data” to provide answers to clinicians’ real-time inquiries."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rolling with reality

Not many posts on this blog lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working to keep up with the library education world. I have been curating links of interest on my Bit.Ly site, which you can access here:

I think the newer links end up at the bottom, for some reason. If I can change that, I will (or if you know, please share!).

I also started a Twitter account, where I post the links stored on the Bit.Ly site as I find them:


Friday, October 26, 2012

Harvard Library will join the US national libraries in implementing the Resource Description and Access (RDA)

Pilot training program on new catalog code at Harvard Library to begin in November.                

October 25, 2012—The Harvard Library plans to adopt Resource Description and Access (RDA), joining the three US national libraries—Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine and the National Agricultural Library and peers—in implementing the new code.
RDA, the successor catalog code to the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Second Edition (AACR2), is the new standard for resource description and access for the digital world. Published jointly by the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, RDA is designed to accommodate both the print and digital worlds and provide a flexible and extensible framework applicable to both analog and digital resources.
A pilot training program at Harvard will begin in November 2012, led by the Library’s Information and Technical Services team in collaboration with staff volunteers and with training materials prepared by the Library of Congress training materials.  Following the completion and assessment of the pilot, the Library will roll out a larger, phased training program.
For more information, please contact: Elizabeth Hedrick
Communications Officer
The Harvard Library
1 617 496 1519

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Please remember - there is no privacy or confidentiality on the internet

Reminding myself of this as well as any readers of this blog, and please pass along the reminder to your  library users: the internet is public. I am certain that I (and you, and yes, even you) have written emails that were sent in confidence - but there really isn't any confidence. Our confidential records can be made un-confidential on a moment's notice. As far as we know, our employers are copying our keystrokes. As far as we know, Blogger is keeping track of words that were deleted before posts were published. As far as we know, our internet providers are turning on the microphones and cameras on our home equipment. As far as we know, the laptops that hold our electronic health information can be stolen out of a car.

One example of capturing all computer activity of a group to conduct a surveillance project: 

As to confidentiality, again a story about the FDA:
FDA investigates release of files on devices
-confidential files on medical devices that had yet to be approved were outsourced for printing, and the outsource had the files available to the public on a website.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Great example of plagiarism, and getting restitution for copyright infringement

Most of us in the library profession work to educate people on what constitutes plagiarism and copyright infringement. This post and video should be part of your education tool-box:

How to assert copyright over your work when its been plagiarized

This former Missourian thanks Mr. Lester for sharing his story. It was also linked in the Assertive Cancer Patient blog

Thursday, April 05, 2012

News of interest to libraries

Think like a startup:

An open letter to academic publishers about open access (Chronicle of Higher Education - will require a login)

A free question/answer site to use with your students:
-from the site: "Welcome to Piazza—a place where students can come together to ask, answer, and explore under the guidance of their instructor. It'll save you time, and your students will love using it. It's also free, and easy to get started. "

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Online universities need libraries, too

Looks like we need to let this group know about the value of a library to any online university effort:

Online Startup Seeks to Rival the Ivy League

As a Nebraska librarian, I am interested to see a Nebraska connection to the project: Bob Kerrey

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just letting anyone who reads this librarian-related blog that yes, I am still attached to it, and will be posting librarian-related resources. I know others have been in contact with me regarding old links that have changed - well, I figure librarians, my primary reader audience, are resourceful enough to locate updated links (you see, we got into this career because we love the hunt!).
My current project at the medical library is investigating iPad apps and hardware useful for our faculty and students. Expect a post on that very soon. In the meantime, here is a link on a long-running topic - outsourced (leased) library services:
Are Privatized Public Libraries So Bad?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Post from the Annoyed Librarian on the Research Works Act:

Anyone interested in open access issues needs to keep up with this, in my opinion.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Experiencing trouble getting larger publication files to your affiliated users? Try this free service:

No registration required for either sender or receiver. Links to uploaded files are live for only 7 days.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another city is deciding on outsourcing the public library, this time in Toronto:
Help Save Toronto's Libraries! (on

I did a search in Google News to look for "outsourcing libraries":

I have been considering what other professions have done when faced with their world changing quickly, even overnight. Conversations with other librarians usually bring up "buggy whip manufacturers" as the example of what we might be facing. I was thinking about pre-Prohibition, though. What did the brewers do when faced with Prohibition? I know when I toured a winery in Missouri in the mid-90's, they said that the only way they were able to go back into business after Prohibition was due to some root stock that was hidden away, and keeping cash flow going through other means. We as librarians probably need to start considering the alternatives now for our own profession, at least until our 'prohibition' is repealed, if at all, and if in time. But if we are to make a come-back, when/if the world wonders where it will access information (the 'if' is due to last night's showing of Idiocracy - yeah, that is a confidence-building movie), where are we going to stash our root stock, now that most of our resources are electronic, and leased?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My apologies for the long silence. I have been looking up library news and covering the issues, but have been sharing primarily with my employer and colleagues. Back to sharing with you, my reader!

Article in today's Reuters:
Libraries adapt to meet demands of Internet Age
quote in the article: "The new librarian has been on Facebook or Twitter longer than you or I have. They're the most socially connected people I've ever met."

Article in yesterday's Wikimedia Blog:
Wikimedia and libraries - a symbiotic relationship
I didn't know that there are Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors - probably wouldn't be a career booster to be one on my campus, as anyone citing Wikipedia gets their paper downgraded - it just doesn't offer the level of evidence that is required in health professional education.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Two Institute of Medicine standards and an AHRQ guide say that one should include librarians:

1. IOM recommends standards for clinical guidelines, reviews

The Institute of Medicine today recommended eight
standards for developing clinical practice guidelines, and 21
[ ]
standards for conducting systematic reviews
of the comparative effectiveness of medical or surgical interventions.
Congress requested the recommendations in the Medicare Improvements for
Patients and Providers Act of 2008. Clinical practice guidelines are
informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the
benefits and harms of alternative care options. "Because of the large number
of clinical practice guidelines available, practitioners and other guideline
users find it challenging to determine which guidelines are of high
quality," IOM said. "If guideline users had a mechanism to immediately
identify high quality, trustworthy clinical practice guidelines, their
health-related decision making would be improved -potentially improving both
health care quality and health outcomes." (from AHA News).

2.  the new AHRQ guide for effectiveness and comparative
effectiveness reviews also specifically mentions including a librarian.

Relevo R, Balshem H. Finding Evidence for Comparing Medical
Interventions. 2011 Jan 5. Methods Guide for Effectiveness and
Comparative Effectiveness Reviews [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008-. Available from 
PubMed PMID: 21433408.

Monday, March 14, 2011

LSSI is working to acquire overseas libraries - I figured they would be, but here is a story about their approach to the UK:

Honest, I would just like to see job descriptions and true openings on their website. I haven't been able to get a handle on openings and their requirements yet. If anyone has updated information on what qualifications they require and pay they offer, I would be deeply grateful. I figure this is the future, and I would like to approach it with all information in hand.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Current news about HarperCollins and their ebook restrictions:

I can't imagine how our libraries would have functioned all these years if traditionally published books had had that same requirement. 26 loans? I would really like to know how they even came up with that number as the one to cease loaning ebook titles (update - explanation in this Library Journal article: ) .

More information on this (with great advice for librarians) from a BoingBoing post;

And a call to arms: Library eBook Revolution, Begin

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Leave the libraries alone. You don't understand their value." Phillip Pullman's speech from Jan 20, 2011, defending Oxfordshire libraries:
Found on the False Economy blog, which has a great tagline: "Why cuts are the wrong cure."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Librarians are awesome (thank you, Wil Wheaton!)

Be sure to read the comments.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Our library's very first QR Code. We are using it in a half-sheet handout that has our contact information on it.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Chronicle of Higher Education commentary says: "Death by Irony: How Librarians Killed the Academic Library"

The comments are great.

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

Story about embedded librarians at Johns Hopkins in the USA Today:
Another post about the UC libraries and faculty protesting Nature's price hike:

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

Library news -

1. California libraries gearing up to fight Nature
The news is also posted on a Nature blog:

2. National Academies sees libraries as leaders in data preservation:

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Announcing merger of INCOLSA and MLC=the new Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS)

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

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

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: 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 ( ), 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:

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

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

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:
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:

Link to the January 2009 report: Adults and Social Media Websites

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

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

Aug 16, 2007:

Feb 29, 2008:

May 28, 2008

March 2, 2009

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 .
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. (, 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:

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: .
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
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"

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

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

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

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

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

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: . 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"

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
I saw it mentioned on BoingBoing, and in this article on School Library Journal's site:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Unfortunately, librarians already knew this:

How People Research Things (as seen on Graph Jam)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ray Bradbury is a fan of libraries:
Bradbury, Community Join Forces to Save Library [Ventura County Star]
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

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hospital Library Closes to Public, Goes Electronic

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:

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:

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:,2817,2346226,00.asp

Homepage for Wolfram Alpha: . 
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:

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
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

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

It also has a Twitter account which includes alerts and other useful links to news/resources: