Tue - March 2, 2004

Cool Things I read on the Plane Home from Seattle

Via WIRED (print): I rip pages out I want to surf to or blog about and file them until I'm connected again.

An article about Glenn Reynolds' Bookmarks:

www.technorati.com : I had seen this before but it finally sunk in I should take a look. I ego-surfed TTW and found a cool blog at Redwood City CA library that linked to mine!

http://www.gizmodo.com/ - Gizmo lover's blog

GOOGLE Articles I enjoyed on the way out to Seattle...

Batman Dead End by Sandy Collora

Posted at 08:48 AM     Read More  

Sun - February 22, 2004

A Sunday Audio-Visual RefGrunt

Pay for printed song lyrics
Do you have Norah Jones’ New CD
Internet sign up
Internet sign up
Prints of poetry
Flipping through US magazine
“Julia Roberts is married?”
Internet sign up
Internet sign up
Checking out PLA Web site
Word processing question
National Geographic video
Internet Sign up
CDs by Maze
Checking out Pike Place Market Web site
Looking for Places in the Heart VHS
Looking for Sleeping With the Enemy VHS
Internet sign up
Internet Sign up
Switch DVD playing to Grease (it’s the word, you know..)
Word processing question
Godfather on VHS
Internet sign up
Help me print
.45 for prints please
Smallville DVD Part 1
Word processing question
Playing “You’re the One that I Want” again
Where is the Lowrider Web site?
Internet sign up
Internet Sign up
“Ooh Ooh Ooh Honey!”
Divorce papers?
Road to Wellville on VHS
Internet sign up
Internet Sign up
Norah Jones new CD?
Lost in translation VHS?
Wonderland DVD?
Internet sign up
Internet sign up
“Is it too late for Internet?”

Posted at 04:32 PM     Read More  

The Tides are Turning....

No matter what Bush or the Guvenator say, the country is changing.... Karen -- Congrats!!

Posted at 12:59 PM     Read More  

Fri - February 13, 2004

Annual Report

Forgive the lack of posts... I've been polishing my annual report for my department at SJCPL and doing some work on CIL 2004 . Now, I'm off to Northern Michigan for the weekend... no not TC but GR !

Posted at 01:21 PM     Read More  

Wed - February 11, 2004

Visiting UM Ann Arbor for Exposition (Updated)


How cool is this? Our administration at SJCPL asked me to go along on a trip to Ann Arbor, MI this Thursday for the SI ExpoSItion ! I'll be joining our Human Resources person and the Head of our Marketing department.

The students' projects look incredible. This will truly be a way to see what entry-level Masters degree graduates are capable of. The new skillsets of recent grads are incredible: complex web design with a background in info architecture, examining user data and creating models for better service, etc etc... We need people like this in our libraries! What a dynamic program!

Look at this:


Update: Schedules have collided and I cannot attend! I wish all the students participating the best with their exhibits! Take a look at the links...there is some dynamic work being done up there (ok...MI is up there from me here in Indiana, it may not be for you!)

Posted at 02:02 PM     Read More  

Mon - February 9, 2004

Career Development: Seeking Joy & Carpe Diem

Via the Seattle PI:


Still forming my thoughts on this one but it came out of the blue into my aggregator and I gotta tell you, it really hits home. I've been looking at the big picture for a few months now. Talking with valued colleagues and pondering the future.

Marilyn Gist writes:

Some describe the past two decades as years of rampant commercialism, materialism, and even greed in our country. The stock market rose in a seemingly endless climb, and we believed technology's promise of economic prosperity and improved quality of life. As consumers, we grabbed for the good life as much as we could. Today, we are seeing an important shift. Many have begun asking, "Is this all there is?" Surely, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and subsequent world events have sobered our mood. The long recession also has curbed our expectations for instant gratification. Yet the question seems deeper -- it seems to come from the heart more than the head. We are awakening to the limits of what money can buy. We have learned firsthand that it does not buy happiness. Nor does it buy world peace.

We also suspect technology is a mixed blessing. It increases our options and our efficiency, sometimes fueling economic growth. However, technology also intensifies our pace of life so much that we now lack that irreplaceable resource: time. Without time, our quality of life suffers. We feel more stress. We struggle to balance family and work demands. We feel less connected to community, and we have limited opportunity for leisure activities and personal development. Yes, we have been successful, but many of us feel unsatisfied.

Technology is a mixed blessing. I love what I do...love the gadgets and stuff i get to mess with to help people learn and do their jobs better. Librarians have long discussed "technostress" in their work lives.... "infostress" too. I guess what I'm saying is I'm all about the untethered, techno-library type...I'm one myself....but I hope that person also balances out the rest of their life: love, family, spirit, health, joy.

Many of us think achievements at work are significant because we work very hard and stay very busy. Sometimes work achievements are significant, but work is a domain in which we can often confuse "success" and "busy-ness" with significance.

Frances Mayes wrote about being busy in Bella Tuscany . "I'm so busy..."

"Maybe living life is so important that we shouldn't be busy. At least not busy with that buzz buzz sound. Ed tells his students to figure out how many weekends they have left, given the good fortune of normal life expectancy. Even to the young it's a shock to see there are only 2800 more. That's it. Done for. Carpe Diem, Si, Si. Grab the Days."

Deep stuff this am.... now we'll return to a regularly scheduled program.

Posted at 06:05 AM     Read More  

Sun - February 8, 2004

The Simpsons go to the Springfield Public Library (Updated)

I recorded tonight's Simpsons and haven't watched yet but I caught the first minute or so: Marge, Bart, Lisa and Milhouse head into the Springfield PL and discover all the books are gone. The aging, bun-headed Librarian says they are a "multi-media learning center now!" All Lisa finds are videotapes of "Everybody Poops." Looks like some wry commentary on the mythical state that Springfield is located in and their funding for libraries...

Update: Am I an old stick-in-the-proverbial-mud or did that episode have kind of an strange slant toward libraries? The man using the sports biography of Santo for toilet paper was odd... Maybe it was to show how books have fallen out of favor (they haven't) or a very very sly, sarcastic commentary on how the public and government should CARE about libraries. I know, I'm over-thinking!

Posted at 09:14 PM     Read More  

Thu - February 5, 2004

Rocketing through the Library-verse (NYT article on Google)

Steven was right when he said:

This article is going to be cross-posted all over the place on listservs, weblogs, etc.My advice: Print it out, laminate it, and post it in several places around the reference desk and by your public access Internet terminals.

I saw his post via RSS at 8:20am and grabbed the article, read it, converted it to a PDF and sent it on to all of the librarians here at SJCPL . Our Head of Collection Development, of Book Blog fame around here, was in my office with his laptop (wifi connected) doing some stuff with me and he got the full-text of the article in his e-mail box while we were chatting from his step-father-in-law who Joe said "is very connected." (I love connected people!)

Since then, it's showed up in my NetNewsWire RSS feeds 5 more times...

How many times, dear library-interested reader, will this little piece from the NYT rocket its way to your in box, aggregator, etc?

Posted at 10:41 AM     Read More  

Tue - February 3, 2004

Orkut Update

What a great surprise this am to check e-mail and find that two of my favorite library people had asked me to join their network of friends at Orkut! And I read Greg's nice post about finding Walt Crawford in the Libraries community! I love sweet synchronicity!

I have 8 friends right now -- connected to over 25,000 people! (it's good to have friends!)

Synchronous is also the fact that Jeff from TC started the libraries community and used a picture (I believe) of the TC Carnegie library building that is now the GT Heritage Center .

Posted at 09:31 AM     Read More  

Wed - January 28, 2004

Orkut anyone?

So a library colleague up in Traverse City sent me a note and invited into his circle of friends at Orkut. Orkut, created by Google, is " an online trusted community web site designed for friends. The main goal of our service is to make the social life of yourself and your friends more active and stimulating. The community site allows friends to virtually come together, find common interests, share relevant information, and organize social events."

Jeff works with technology up there and has a pretty cool circle of cohorts online.

I am just starting...learning about this... I already saw that there is a backlash to social networks on my Wired RSS feed. ...

E-mail or IM me if you wanna try it out...I'll send you an invite!

Posted at 11:24 AM     Read More  

Aww, Shucks, LibraryMan...

Posted at 11:09 AM     Read More  

Fri - January 16, 2004

LibraryMan, Serendipity and great Synchronicity

Michael Porter and I had a great visit yesterday! He arrived just as I was finishing a meeting with two reference librarians about a new feature on our Web site. We meeted and greeted and I took him on a tour of our Main Library. There was so much to say...so much to talk about: our similar training careers, his ultra cool stints with the Gates Foundation and the cruise line, public libraries, sustainability, the library blogging community, cool libraries we have visited, PhD programs, IU SLIS, etc. The few hours we hung out were sprinkled with weird synchronicity and serendipity. (it was like we were clicking around on each other's personal and professional blogs finding out cool stuff...)

We toured Main, drove out to the Centre Library , met Jake and went to dinner at my favorite Thai place in South Bend (Siam Thai) .

I was reeling from all the great conversation. Library folk, here's my advice: seek out cool colleagues and TALK to them... exchange stories, talk tech, talk life, TALK! It's great professionally and it's pretty darn great personally too..

Ahh, lest I forget, the obligatory photos of the man, LibraryMan that is!

Posted at 03:28 PM     Read More  

Keeping Current Via Tenant Via Librarian in Black Via The Shifted Librarian

Just found this when I clicked to Jenny's post about the Librarian in Black's post about RSS which lead me to her note about Roy Tenant's article for Library Journal about keeping current with new technologies. Pretty darn cool.

Tenant writes:

Learn all the time without even thinking about it. We are born to learn, but somewhere along the way many of us pick up the idea that we must be taught in order to learn. We think that if someone doesn't stand up in front of us and talk to us with either a chalkboard or PowerPoint slides, we cannot learn. We must regain our sense of wonder and our desire to learn.

Yes indeed. Use everyday as a learning opportunity! Who knows where you'll catch something that applies to our careers...

Posted at 01:54 PM     Read More  

Thu - January 15, 2004

LibraryMan Meets Tame the Web at SJCPL

Even as I type, I am eagerly anticipating the arrival this afternoon of Mr. Michael Porter, LibraryMan to all of our viewers at home, for a quick tour of my library and some good ole Library chat.

Here's a nice piece about him at IU SLIS:


Posted at 10:52 AM     Read More  

Mentoring Revisited

Had a nice talk with a dear friend who was my boss for many years at SJCPL last night. She offered some good advice to me. She has found a great position at the Pensacola Junior College Library. Thanks Linda!!!!

Posted at 10:18 AM     Read More  

Fri - January 9, 2004

Info Pathfinder Job at Musser PL

Wow! Take a look at http://www.muscatinelibrary.us/

Nice site! Caught their ad in the January AL for an "Info Pathfinder."

Here's the ad, grabbed from ALA (huge URL link to it here):

INFO PATHFINDER, Musser Public Library, Muscatine, Iowa. New position. Join an energetic, enterprising, and friendly staff in a great community. This is an exciting opportunity for a creative thinker to guide, lead, and direct our information commons. We are looking for a librarian with a passion and understanding for community work, highly creative and knowledgeable, who has ideas to help shape a new information commons. As we plan for a new library facility, we recognize that our reference service has changed in response to Internet and other online usage. Our vision for an information commons includes a quick answer center where computer technology mixes easily with a human face in a creative way. Our info pathfinder will maintain a ready reference print collection but will also work as an online navigator, helping patrons with computer applications in their quest for information. The position will provide one-on-one and group training for library patrons and staff. Of special interest to us is how this service might be marketed within the community. Accordingly, the info pathfinder will help initiate, develop, and implement an ongoing program of outreach activities to stimulate use of the library's information resources. To accomplish this, this position will develop interactive relationships and coordinate library programs and services with community-based organizations. REQUIRED: MLS degree from an ALA-accredited program; experience in customer and reference service; demonstrated interest in community library work and willingness to develop strong, interactive community relationships; good judgment; dependability; tact; and courtesy.

What a cool job! I love the bit about "computer technology mixing with a human face." This is forward thinking! Well done Musser PL!

Posted at 03:47 PM     Read More  

Mon - January 5, 2004

Balancing Work & Life

Thanks LISJobs!!! (their current issue....for January)


Posted at 11:18 AM     Read More  

Taking Control of To Do Lists

I spent some time last week going over my "To Dos" for 2004 at work and for my professional growth. I came across this article in Business 2.0 which I think offers some really good stuff for info types... At IL 2003, speakers discussed applying the business model to what we do in libraries - this makes B2.0 and even more valuable resource. Articles like "How To Create Fanatically Loyal Customers" has some application in the non-profit world of libraries as well. Case in point:

"Customer service starts with employee satisfaction. You can't deliver any kind of service if the employees don't like their work. I was an airplane mechanic, and do you know how much faster I could fix a plane if I really wanted to? Our employees are willing to do more because they enjoy working here."

Anyway, Mission Control is one of the big organizational seminar type places and they stress using a "capture tool" and just recording whatever you realize you must do throughout the day. I use my laptop for this... The next step is to take the bits an put them on "Now Lists" Hmmmm....

At the same time, I discovered an column in USA Today from 12/30/03 by writer Jim Collins about "stop doing lists." Collins asks readers to ponder what they would STOP doing instead of all of the goals we set for ourselves every New Year . He writes:

...The start of the New Year is a perfect time to start a stop doing list and to make this the cornerstone of your New Year resolutions, be it for your company, your family or yourself. It also is a perfect time to clarify your three circles, mirroring at a personal level...three questions:

l What are you deeply passionate about?

l What are you are genetically encoded for—what activities do you feel just “made to do”?

l What makes economic sense—what can you make a living at?

Those fortunate enough to find or create a practical intersection of the three circles have the basis for a great work life.

Think of the three circles as a personal guidance mechanism. As you navigate the twists and turns of a chaotic world, it acts like a compass. Am I on target? Do I need to adjust left, up, down, right?

If you make an inventory of your activities today, what percentage of your time falls outside the three circles? If it is more than 50 percent, then the stop doing list might be your most important tool.

Coolness. I know I am deeply passionate about technology and how it relates to and brings people together or provides knowledge. That must be why I'm in the library biz. I also feel I am "genetically encoded" to share what "gets me going" like speaking at a conference or talking to colleagues at work.

These are two pretty darn cool bits to think about...coming for the New Year, which always seems so full of promise. Ask me later about my "Capture Tool" and "Stop Doing List"

Posted at 09:47 AM     Read More  

Wed - December 31, 2003

Happy New Year!

Best to all my library colleagues and friends for 2004!

Posted at 10:57 PM     Read More  

Tue - December 30, 2003

A Few Days Off

Off to Traverse City for the New Year...then back for a few quiet days....

See you Monday!

Posted at 10:19 AM     Read More  

Sat - December 27, 2003

TTW is now at LISHost.com!

Thanks to Blake and Aaron for all of their help moving my domain to the hallowed cyber halls of LISHost.com. I'm joining the likes of Mr. Steven Cohen's Library Stuff , LibraryPlanet, the Lipstick Librarian, and more...

I hope to add a mobblog soon.... :-)

Posted at 10:02 AM     Read More  

Wed - December 24, 2003

Happy Holidays 2003 from Tame the Web & Michael Stephens

Posted at 05:27 PM     Read More  

Sun - December 21, 2003

Recruiting PPT

This weekend I've been working on a recruiting PowerPoint presentation with our Personnel administrator. She gave me some content, we gathered some photos and now I'm putting it together... It's rather fun. Selling the library to prospective librarians...

This presentation was helpful in getting my mindset....

I did some googling and much of what I found was geared toward recruiting undergrads to library school....

I'll post again after I finish...

Posted at 08:11 AM     Read More  

Fri - December 19, 2003


Is it like this at all libraries? This week, I had multiple Holiday Luncheons to attend or give for staff, much cheer to wish, much much food to graze on in the office....

Happy Holidaze Fellow Bibliographic Buddies and Digerati...

Posted at 10:49 AM     Read More  

Thu - December 11, 2003

Your Career & the Library Legacy

I like http://liscareer.com and especially the article on mentoring and the bit about alternative careers (Sex Toy Shop??!!)


There are countless ways to develop yourself professionally, and you don’t have to do them all at once.  A good place to start is to work with a mentor.  A mentor can help you learn the ropes of librarianship as a whole, can guide you towards deepening your knowledge of your present area of focus, and perhaps most importantly, can help you define and reach career goals you feel passionately about.

Mentoring is very important to me and I think it should be a priority for new librarians to seek out a mentoring relationship. I was very lucky to have a mentor through many years at SJCPL. Linda Broyles, Head of Reference and the Coordinator of Networks, was my direct supervisor for 6 years and I learned so much from her about the job but also about dealing with people. To be a humanist in managing libraries and technology is pretty darn cool. She always encouraged me to see the big picture and to make sure we were doing the right thing for each project we dove into. To be a mentor takes time, commitment and a sense of the big picture. If I ever mentor a young librarian, I hope to be just like Linda.

Also, isn't mentoring like leaving a little bit of a legacy with someone who will hopefully pass it on? My library legacy? Linda's library legacy?

Thanks Beyond the Job!!!

Posted at 08:10 AM     Read More  

Tue - December 9, 2003

Covering the Reference Desk for their Holiday Lunch: A REF-Grunt

Just for fun a ref-grunt while I work the desk today:

City directory phone question
found library colleague's blog
What is it like to be manic depressive?
Phone number in Mishawaka: Al Bar Ranch
What does electricity do to a body when it's being shocked
African Christmas songs with sheet music
Phone number for the "endoscopy center"
Easy learn to play the piano books
Do it yourself will
IM with Bob to confirm tech training class
Divorce form
Yahoo mail troubleshhooting
Theatre history
Maps of chicago
Irked Geneologist
What time is it? (1:45pm)
My Euchre game isn't working at YAHOO

Posted at 01:50 PM     Read More  

Thanks LibraryGirl!!! An Info SuperHero!

How cool is this blog:


She writes about TTW in recapping the blogs listed in Steven's article :

Tame the Web:Library technology and IT/BI stuff. Really useful site that I wish I knew about last year when I was putting together database purchase proposals and writing my first classes. He uses a mac.
But I guess I'm pretty geeky because Greg gets this:

Open Stacks: Greg's blog is one of my regular reads. More professional than the above blogs, in that it deals mainly with library happenings and less on geeky info.

I'll take geeky anytime and I'll take a good helping of LibraryGirl's thoughts and ponderings....

Posted at 08:26 AM     Read More  

Libraries Surviving: Tech, Marketing, Community, PLACE

Via LISNews from a newspaper in Illinois:

"Libraries also are becoming a sort of cultural clearinghouse for information and a gathering place, Deane said.

"In the last few years, libraries have begun to think of themselves as a community center," he said.

And that is important, Hayden said, if libraries intend to survive.

"People are using the libraries for all sorts of different reasons," she said. "I think that trend will continue. We're trying to make sure we help that trend continue."

Yes indeed! I mentioned this at my endnote talk on the panel at IL. We have good grip on offering access and now we must all market ourselves and offer the community a place to gather (or retail environments will take that part over). I cannot stress how important a marketing plan is for any new service or existing service that may need a boost. Read this article and put it into your "what's the library world coming to" file.

Rock On...

Posted at 07:57 AM     Read More  

Sat - December 6, 2003

I Bow before Blake

Thanks to Blake at LISNews for working out an incredible server space thing with me.... Galleries, presentations and the like will be hosted there.... next: moving tametheweb.com !

Posted at 11:12 AM     Read More  

Tue - December 2, 2003

Blake Calls for Articles on Blogs in Libraries

Posted at 09:37 AM     Read More  

Sat - November 29, 2003

Changes in the Workforce, Technology Replacing Librarians

Via LISNews:


Economists predict a shortage of 6 million individuals with four-year degrees within the next 10 years. These impending labor shortages are concealed today by the economic slowdown and temporary spike in unemployment. But I promise you, it's temporary. The severity of the problem will become more palpable in the near future as the economy recovers and these conflicting trends - increasing retirements and a contracting supply of young educated new employees - become more apparent and urgent.

From a Public Library Standpoint: Where are all the new MLS graduates going to come from? Are they all focusing on the higher paying and more "current" MIS?

Start focusing on employee retention as a strategic imperative. It's easy to take current employees for granted when skilled candidates are banging on the door. But the tables are turning. Target the right employees for recognition, appreciation and rewards, customize career development plans to individual employees, and offer flexible work arrangements that are also family and elder friendly.

Oh yeah!

Create a culture where training and continuous learning are routine and frequent, whether for computer literacy, data based decision making, leadership, or appreciation of diversity of all kinds. Think about moving to aging parts of the country - such as Florida, Arizona and Pennsylvania - since these residents might be tempted to return to the work force when you're desperate.

You all know I cannot emphasize the importance of training... beyond technology training, we should be given our librarians and support staff ample opportunities to grow and understand the world of work -- and really the WORLD better. Diversity training is incredibly important as the populations we serve change.

And finally:

Use technology to solve labor shortages. It's not just assembly line manufacturing that can be replaced with robotics. The work of the bank teller, auditor, paralegal, or librarian can be increasingly substituted with smart technologies. It will soon be consultants, teachers, and nurses whose shortages can be alleviated with more effective use of artificial intelligence solutions.

WOW! Rochelle at LIS noted that this little line was buried in the article. It jives with Barbara Quint's take at the Internet Librarian Endnote session that Librarians have missed the boat.... scary.....but a true. What technologies have replaced true librarianship? Google for sure....

Posted at 07:02 AM     Read More  

Tue - November 25, 2003

Focusing on the Future

I'm sitting in a meeting and our Head of Collection Development just said:

We must spend our time on innovative services and marketing ourselves....

Posted at 02:58 PM     Read More  

Mon - November 24, 2003

Darlene Fichter's Using Blogs for Marketing

Take a look:

Posted at 04:25 PM     Read More  

Sun - November 23, 2003

Google Juggernaut and the Future of Libraries

Via LISNews (Thanks Blake!):

Gary Price writes:

"The library world hasn't done enough to keep up with the Google juggernaut in defining our role in the Web age. We must do better and we must start now."

Wow! Price writes we need to promote what we do...and get the word out about our skills.. He offers some strating points:

"Here are eight things I think all of us, in an organized way, must begin to work to achieve. This is not a job for a single person or a single library group, but for all of us."

Posted at 07:48 AM     Read More  

Thu - November 20, 2003

Future of Libraries

Posted at 10:16 AM     Read More  

Designing Apple Stores/Building Libraries

David sent me a very cool article about retail environment design -- highlighting the Apple stores... In VM+SD magazine, Anne Sidaro writes that Apple continues its branding by building spaces that are smart, stylish and CUSTOMER DRIVEN. I have visited Apple stores in Washington DC, Seattle and Chicago and they are all stimulating, fun and user-friendly, as is the staff.

Here's what Steve Jobs said the stores must be:


At Internet Librarian , I used the photo of the Apple store opening below to illustrate a point about "buildings" -- what does it take to build a library that has people lined up as they did on North Michigan Avenue to get in -- someone in the crowd told me that 20,000 people lined up to pass through the San Jose Public Library when it recently opened...WOW. Here's a press release.

Librarians: if you are planning a new building, take a look at your nearest Apple Store.... :-)

Posted at 09:46 AM     Read More  

Sun - November 16, 2003

New Breed of Library Weblogs

Take a look at this:


Uh, yeah! Rock On Steven.

Posted at 10:28 AM     Read More  

Wed - November 12, 2003

Travelled...But Under the Weather

I'm bcak from Internet Librarian 2003, after a gorgeous 5 days in Seattle and Vancouver. But, I caught a cold in my travels and I'm laying about watching my Dish PVR shows... I'll be updating the IL posts and more soon... Thanks for stopping by!

Posted at 10:56 AM     Read More  

Fri - October 24, 2003

Access for All

From today's South Bend Tribune :

Access for all

Our local NBC affiliate WNDU-TV chose not to air the comedy series "Coupling" this season because of its content. Only two stations in the U.S. chose not to air it -- Salt Lake City and here.

As a librarian, I'm all about free access to whatever anyone may need. I may not like the subject matter, I may find it offensive or I may love it, but heck, I'm not going to stop someone else from getting access. I think WNDU should have let the people of this community decide if they wanted to watch "Coupling" or not. I get the New York feeds on my Dish Network system so I watched it. It was boring and not that well done. I have seen the British equivalent on BBC America (Thank God for England) and it's a hoot.

Curious? We have the DVD of the first season of "Coupling" (BBC) at the St. Joseph County Public Library. Hoorah for the Sights and Sounds Department! If I want to see the Brit version I can check it out. If not, I'll pass it by. Same goes for any movie, CD, novel, or magazine.

Michael Stephens

Posted at 06:38 PM     Read More  

Tue - October 21, 2003

We may offend you at the library!...

.... it's our job to have something for everyone. Like Coupling, like Harry Potter, (thanks Steven), like whatever else that has been challenged through the years....

One last thing about Coupling:

I found this at Jump the Shark, rough stuff from an anoymous poster:

"I would like to submit a little bit different "Shark" jump in regards to the new show NBC show "Coupling" My local NBC affiliate WNDU, "which apparently stands for 'We Need to Dictate to U'," decided not to air the pilot episode nor apparently any other episode. This affiliate has a loathsome history of censorship, which is really just an excuse to air "Notre Dame friendly" programs. For example, the "replacement" for "Coupling" was a rerun of a locally televised "roast" of a former Notre Dame football player. The self-righteous arrogance of WNDU is revolting. Under the guise of so-called "community standards" they basically deny a numerically significant viewership base the right to make viewing decisions for themselves. The antics of WNDU is gutless censorship, plain and simple, and for this station to presume it has a monopoly on "community standards" is beneath contempt. WNDU does not deserve to air NBC, or any other network programming. Fortunately another station aired the pilot episode of "Coupling," although those without cable or digital television still did not have the opportunity to see "Coupling." In fact, this other network capitalized on the fact that this show had been "banned" by WNDU. While "Coupling" has been panned by critics, and while I found it strained and only slightly amusing, it is fortunate I even got to watch it at all. Just wanted JTS readers to know censorship is alive and well in the United States. "

Posted at 06:42 PM     Read More  

Fri - October 17, 2003

Salt Lake City Public Library

Read about this innovative library in Salt Lake in today's USAToday. (the article was not online as of this morning) The have a firm "No Censorship" policy and a rockin' Mission Statement. It's in section D page 10.
"It's a mistake not to be responsive to the new generation and how they communicate," library director nancy tessman says. "Our idea is that it's not just all about books, but about all the arts. Our job is to stimulate the mind, ears and eyes."
All the big concepts are in the article: access, a community "living room," etc. The building is adorned with huge words like GROW WRITE BLOOM EXPRESS.


Posted at 10:09 AM     Read More  

Sat - October 11, 2003

Google in USAToday: The Search Engine that Could

Jefferson Graham writes about Google in today's USAToday.

A history, overview, behind-the-scenes article, we also get a bit about libraries:

Everett Ward, assistant director of the Salt Lake City library, says the danger in researchers relying so much on Google and online information is that much of it is unsourced and inaccurate. "One of the problems with online searching is trying to understand the credibility and authority of what they're looking at. Google sends you everything. People still come to the library to research, not because they can't find it online, but they're finding too much."

Librarians.... this is our job: to teach library users how to tell what's good information and what's not so useful! That was part of my talk at Kendallville -- evaluating web information. It was also a module of my book . And it's also all over the web in some really good documents we can search.

Posted at 06:29 PM     Read More  

Wed - October 8, 2003

Indiana Library Federation District 1

Yesterday I spoke at our ILF District 1 Meeting held out at Notre Dame. My topic was "How Technology is influencing Reference Services." It was a great hour or so...the group was rather lively and had a few things to say. I touched on blogging, RSS, virtual reference, e-mail services, RFID and integrated systems.

My take, as always: we need to embrace technology that allows us to help our users get what they want faster, better and more conveniently. Balance tech however, with being a librarian and a person...

Nice time at ILF...I'm glad I got to go out....

Posted at 06:34 PM     Read More  

Thu - October 2, 2003

Your Tech Training Library

Reading about Rachel Singer Gordon's book got me thinking about the resources I use a lot for Technology Training in the library -- for staff and public.

Reading about Rachel Singer Gordon's book got me thinking about the resources I use a lot for Technology Training in the library -- for staff and public. Part of my job is to guide public classes and the evolution of that part of my job is fantastic. I'll post about it soon.

Anyway, here's what's on my shelf next to my desk -- books I use when planning my work and training sessions:

The Internet Trainer's Guide - Diane Kovacs

Teaching Technology - Scott Brandt

Teaching the Internet in Libraries - Rachel Singer Gordon
More to follow...gotta run to a staff meeting!


Posted at 06:35 PM     Read More  

Wed - October 1, 2003

Coupling in South Bend

I'm rather embarrassed to write about this, but our local NBC affiliate WNDU chose not to air the comedy series Coupling this season because of its content. Only 2 stations in the US chose not to air it... Salt Lake City and here. Yesterday in the South Bend Tribune , fellow SJCPL colleague Franklin Sheneman has this to say on the opinion page:

Change Channel

I would like to thank WNDU-TV for making the decision for its viewers not to air NBC's new sitcom, "Coupling." Why, I don't think we would be able to decide for ourselves if the content of the program met with the so-called standards of our community.

Just to let WNDU know, most of us do know how to change channels if we see something objectionable. Here's a perfect example. Whenever WNDU does something nice for the community and then pats itself on the back for the next month in syrupy sweet commercials, I simply pick up my remote and change the channel. It's just that simple!

Franklin Sheneman

As a librarian, I'm all about free access to whatever anyone may need. I may not like the subject matter, I may find it offensive or I may love it, but heck, I'm not going to stop someone else from getting access. I think WNDU should have let the people of this community decide if they wanted to watch Coupling or not. I get the New York feeds on my Dish Network system so I watched it and, Lordy, was it boring and not that well done. I have seen the Brit equivalent on BBC America (Thank God for England) and it's a hoot.

In fact, we have the DVD of the first season of Coupling (BBC) at SJCPL. Hoorah for the Sights and Sounds Department! If I want to see the Brit version I can check it out...if not, I'll pass it by...

A recent opinion piece in the SBT urged the University of Notre Dame, who owns WNDU, to sell off the station because it doesn't jive with ND's mission. Michael Cloonan, South Bend Resident, writes: "Notre Dame rightly takes strong moral stands and holds principles not in tune with the evolving, or many would argue devolving, broadcast television industry. The university should seriously consider selling WNDU, as owning a modern broadcast station is apparently incompatible with the admirable mission and stated goals of Notre Dame." Yeah, maybe they should. Cloonan remarks in his piece about talking with people when he travels about our area. I have done the same thing travelling to various library conferences representing my library and my town:

"I frequently travel for business and am proud to tell people that I live in South Bend. A common misperception encountered is that South Bend is boring and backward, and these comments even come from Notre Dame alumni. While I will still defend Michiana, I might also ask these colleagues to tape "Coupling" for me, at least until I get a much taller TV antenna."

Come on, let's let the public decide! And give me a break, I don't like to have to DEFEND my hometown. I think I'll say I'm from Traverse City from now on...

Posted at 06:32 PM     Read More  

Please Don't Bite the Librarian

A friend called last night from out of town and asked if the "biting incident" had happened at my library. "No," I said, "Not at SJCPL ..."

But of course I was curious -- and LISNews had the story.

The WISH TV story is here.

Lordy, what's the world coming to?

Posted at 06:20 PM     Read More  

Thu - September 11, 2003

Chicago Trip

Posted at 06:36 PM     Read More  

We Will Never Forget

Posted at 06:35 PM     Read More  

Mon - September 1, 2003

Branding Librarians

Posted at 06:33 PM     Read More  

Fri - August 22, 2003

On Vacation

I'm off to Traverse City until the 4th.... Have a great Labor Day!

Posted at 06:34 PM     Read More  

Kendallville PL Staff In-Service Day Program

Friday, I was scheduled to do a half day session in Kendallville, IN for the library staff's in-service day. The topic was Reference Services in the 21st Century It was great fun! There were probably 15 staff attending and we had some pretty cool conversation about reference services, library users, and the philosophies of librarianship. I told them I always learned from groups I speak to and it held true: I learned that their staff is a pretty cohesive unit that sees the big picture -- serving patrons. One person said she has no problem asking for help from someone else if she just can't find the answer.

They are also looking to the future and the asked me what I saw as the most important things to incorporate in a new building project. My take: wireless , coffee and the idea that the library is a place to meet and greet. ("Library as destination"- something SJCPL PR Person Lissa Krull has turned me on to)

I spent almost 4 hours with them, going through a dense PPT and leading discussions ranging from how we answer the phone to what we wear as well as how technology has changed what we do in the library world.

Posted at 06:28 PM     Read More  

Thu - August 21, 2003

What is Your Message? What is the Medium?

Are you sending a unified message to your library users? SJCPL is working to just that! Our Web site , our spaces, our staff, our communication should all convey the message....

Jakob Nielson says:

I actually think that the message is the message. And the message is the medium as well, to a great extent, for intranets and Web sites. Users only care about the content and ignore all the fancy technology features that are so beloved of the people who work in the field. When a new page comes up, the first place people look is smack in the middle of the upper part of the page—where the content usually sits.

Okay people, this one is important...I have been pondering this for awhile and I feel pretty good about saying: Let's not get so caught up in how cool we can make our libraries' Web sites but what our message is...

What is your message? I know what Kalamazoo PL's message is : "Just Imagine..." Just imagine what the library can do for you...just imagine what you might find there... just imagine what cool stuff makes it easier to get to content... WOW.

Start thinking about your message....

Posted at 06:39 PM     Read More  

Sun - August 17, 2003

SCOTUS Decision & Library Technology Training

“A library that chose to block an adult’s Internet access to material harmful to children (and whatever else the undiscriminating filter might interrupt) would be imposing content-based restriction on communication of material in the library’s control that an adult could otherwise see. This would simply be censorship.”

LISnews rounds up all the CIPA/SCOTUS Decision news here. ..and it gives me pause to think about what impact this will have on libraries and their public/staff technology training programs. What should we consider in these arenas?

Your trainers, IT staff and managers/administrators over the IT/Public service areas should have a GOOD understanding of what it all means. Decisions on software should be carefully researched. Policies must be understood.

Educate staff -- all levels that the library's powers that be decide are applicable -- as to what this decision means. Use online resources like these to build a training session.

Then, educate your patrons. A handout? ("How the CIPA Decisions affects Anytown PL") Short sessions? Build it into Internet classes for sure....

Incorporate a mechanism for your patrons to complain officially and make it available to them..maybe as part of the handout or available when people ask.

Beyond Tech Training, make sure you have a point person to handle the media....

Let's see what happens next....

Posted at 07:28 PM     Read More  

Tue - August 12, 2003

Seattle News Article on Neo libraries -- Staff Needs to Know

Via LISNews comes this piece from Seattle :


"NATIONALLY, KING COUNTY is considered a leader in incorporating digital technologies into its libraries. It was the first, or among the first, to offer new book alerts via e-mail, technology books that could be read online, and, just this month, movie previews on its Web site (www.kcls.org) that patrons can view and then immediately reserve the related video tape or DVD. "

Nice... but:

"PERHAPS IT'S NO surprise that mere flesh-and-blood staff have trouble keeping up. Last month, I visited the Auburn branch to learn more about the free Wi-Fi access introduced earlier this year. "Is this a Wi-Fi enabled branch?" I asked. There was a long pause, a blank look, and the staffer politely informed me, "No, this is a King County Library branch." It took a few more questions and two more staffers to determine that the branch had Wi-Fi (known to nerds as 802.11b), but that the staff just called it "wireless Internet." "

I'm not surprised by this at all. "Flesh and blood staff" have to be informed about all of this stuff and it's darn hard sometimes to reach them all. I wonder what would happen if I called all the WiFi Branches in our system and said "Is this a wifi branch?"

Here's a quick off the cuff list for making sure staff is informed when your library gets into something new:

1) Decide to implement a new technology after study and a look at ROI
2) Plan a timeline and marketing strategy (external and internal)
3) Inform staff, show them, tell them, let them play
4) Rollout the new "thing" and begin marketing strategy
5) Send reminders to staff as needed. Train new staff.

"To survive the digital age, libraries have embraced e-books, e-audio, and Web sites that bring libraries to home PCs. The paper-warehouse concept is so last century. "

Posted at 07:29 PM     Read More  

Mon - August 11, 2003

Kalamazoo PL Field Trip: Circulating MP3 Players!

SJCPL AV Librarian Julie Hill and I visited the Audio-Visual area of KPL to investigate their circulating MP3 technology. Lisa Irwin, Library Associate with Loan Services, met with us to discuss Audio-Visual services and to give us a tour of the library.

MP3 Players

KPL received a grant to initiate this new technology. Director Saul Amdursky instructed Lisa to implement a collection. The library contracted with Audible.com to purchase 20 Diamond Rio MP3 players with 64 MB of built-in memory. The library would also purchase $6,000 of downloaded MP3 book titles over the next year.
Here are some interesting facts we gathered in interviewing Lisa and having her show us the procedures:
-MP3 players only available at the Main library
-Check out of players in AV department ONLY
-Credit card imprint is taken at check out; credit card slips are filled out in advance then card is swiped with manual credit card imprint machine
-Audible.com has switched to Otis brand players and the Apple iPod
-Equipment checked out include:
-Diamond Rio player
-Cassette adapter
-Carrying case
-Instruction book (created by KPL)
-Extra batteries

-Hygiene issues are addressed with ear bud pads that are replaced after each circulation
-Lisa also suggested that anti-bacterial wipes could be included
-Lisa reminded us of the expenses of batteries (many) and replacement headphones

Lisa stressed the importance of a marketing plan to promote the service at rollout. KPL’s publicity included:
-Focus groups of audio book listeners
-Direct mailings to audio book listeners
-Newspaper articles/coverage
-Website coverage

-Patron selects desired titles from a print list or off the department’s webpage
-Library staff downloads the title while the patron waits
-During downloading, library staff fills out required paperwork
-Overall this transaction can take up 10-15 minutes of dedicated staff time

-Staff was encouraged to take the players home and try them out after intensive training sessions
-Staff needs to know how to troubleshoot the devices
-Lisa said to expect phone calls and in person requests for troubleshooting

Lisa took us around the library and introduced us to other staff and interesting services. Thanks Lisa for a great afternoon!!

Posted at 06:39 PM     Read More  

Kalamazoo PL Field Trip

In just a bit this morning we are leaving for a field trip to Kalamazoo Public Library. Julie Hill, who writes the AV Blog at SJCPL , and I are going on a fact-finding mission on many topics.I'll report and post some pics tomorrow!

Posted at 06:32 PM     Read More  

Sat - August 9, 2003

Kalamazoo PL Quotable Quote

More will follow...but here's my favorite quotable quote of our half day tour:

"Libraries have to get on the bandwagon with this digital stuff -- MP3, CD Burning, etc....or we are out of the picture."


Posted at 06:36 PM     Read More  

Teen Space at KPL- "Cool Games" coming

At KPL, we met Kevin King, Teen Librarian, who is dedicated full-time to Teen Services, which is under the Youth Services umbrella. Their teen services include:
-Active Teen Advisory Board of 30 kids meeting bi-monthly to recommend, “What’s Hot”
-Cool program that allows teens to burn their own music CD and create cover art
-Goal of area is to create a “safe haven” for teens where they are encouraged to just be themselves!
-While food is banned from the library, covered drink containers are allowed
-Soon to acquire stand alone game ("cool games") computers for use in Teen area -- Kevin said they would be "good games" and the machines would be custom built.

Ahhh.... Would a custom built game PC rock your world? yes. At the library? Sure....Cool good games are a great addition to a teen space. I wish them well with this project!

Posted at 06:31 PM     Read More  

Mon - August 4, 2003

Have I mentioned I'm on vacation?

I'm back in Traverse City ...taking it easy..see you in a few days....

Posted at 06:35 PM     Read More  

Fri - August 1, 2003

Notes from a Canadian Blogger

Hey Dan! Thanks for writing!

I had an e-mail exchange this week with a fellow blogger named Dan who shares many of my interests -- including Apple stuff and the 17" PowerBook . This young man is using iBlog as well... nice synchronicity!

Here's his blog for your perusal.
I am really beginning to like this new facet of the Internet community....

Posted at 06:38 PM     Read More  

Circulating iPods in Libraries

Ponders the use of Apple revolutionary product in the library setting -- to check out!!!

Julie (Head of SJCPL's AV Area) and I have bantered about circulating MP3 players for months -- a rather cool idea. Kalamazoo PL has been doing it awhile . They link up to audible.com for content. Take a look at their policy on that page. Pretty well-thought. They include a car adaptor and require people to use their own headphones (ewww...I'd say so).

My vote for a circulating player would be the iPod!

Here's what I'd do in a perfect world:

Circulate 20 10GB iPods

Load 10 with the hottest AudioBooks going or collections of Audiobooks by super-hot authors -- purchased just for the iPod (you can't circulate something you've copied to MP3 format)

Load 10 with a sampling of the super-popular musical styles that people are into:

Show Tunes

Hot Hits of 2003 (including new releases - Fleetwood Mac and Madonna anyone?)
"Now that's what I call..." with all 12+ volumes


When the selections have run their course, the iPods are updated with new stuff and the originating CDs can be put into the collection. Rock On!

Patrons would give a credit card deposit of $300 and receive the iPod, the AC plug adaptor and cable to charge it, a case, a car kit and directions.

I googled to see if any libraries are circulating iPods but I didn't get any good hits.

Posted at 06:38 PM     Read More  

Amazon Searches Google!

Where have I been?

It appears as though Amazon has hooked up with Google to offer a "Search the Web" feature on their search pages. Pretty sweet....

Posted at 06:37 PM     Read More  

Cerritos Public Library "Experience Library" Documents

Well done! How many times can my world be rocked this week? Take a look at http://cml.ci.cerritos.ca.us/

"The Cerritos Library has created this website as an online tutorial to assist, inspire and support those who wish to emphasize the role of the public library as a "learning organization" either by building a new "Experience Library" or reinventing elements of an existing library. The Library's adjunct ClioInstitute will periodically sponsor thought-provoking conferences and other events to help libraries creatively pioneer new approaches to lifelong learning. "

A library training / orientation / communication program is only as good as its foundations in planning and teamwork. If you are starting any type of building. remodel or want to see some well-thought documents on the "Public Library as Experience" take a look!

Posted at 06:37 PM     Read More  

Library Web Manager's Reference Center

Posted at 06:33 PM     Read More  

Why Blog? Oh YEAH!

Read this:



And SJCPL gets a nice mention....rock on Greg.....

Posted at 06:31 PM     Read More  

Flash Mobs .... at the Library?

An AP article about Flash Mobs made the South Bend Tribune Tech Page today. Got me to thinking and reminded me that my NRDT fellas and I had discussed how we might stage a flash mob in South Bend. Word usually spreads via anonymous e-mail or on a blog such as this one....

How could libraries use this? How about a teen flash mob where all the teens come to the library and do something together.... or a library staff flash mob? Or how about a flash mob that descends on your training lab for a 30 minute "tech encounter session?"

Ponder this...let me know your ideas....

(and if you are in South Bend, let me know about any forming mobs!)

Posted at 06:27 PM     Read More  

But you don't look like a Librarian

Take a look at http://atst.nso.edu/library/perception/ ... Nice page with some cool stuff....

The survey is cool....

Oh, yeah, and I'm the long-haired librarian in flip flops....

Posted at 06:22 PM     Read More  

Ahhh...Michigan Libraries, Access and Tourists

I vacation in Traverse City , which is just a bit south of Petoskey. This article on LIS grabbed me because it really points out what is good about Libraries as info centers, meeting places and a place to stop in and send e-mail, photos, or surf.

Michigan Libraries: Small Libraries, Big Cyber Leap

Mike Wendland writes:

I was at the library to tap into the high-speed hookup to send photographs back to the Free Press for a story about my experiences riding some 280 miles in the Michigander bicycle ride. The story will appear in Tuesday's Body & Mind section.

I visited the library of each community where Michigander riders stayed overnight after leaving Midland -- Harrison, Grayling, Gaylord, Indian River, Mackinac City and Petoskey -- and found mostly similar stories.

But not all communities were as Web friendly as Petoskey.

In Mackinaw City, a big sign on the front door announces that, by library board policy, there is no e-mail access for the public.

Inside, head librarian Judy Ranville made it clear that she endorsed the rule. "Seventy-five percent of the people who want this aren't from around here," she said, "and if we offered it, we'd have them lining up out the door."

There is Internet access available -- at dial-up speeds -- but only for Web searching.

Thankfully, all the other libraries I visited had high-speed access and were delighted to have traveling visitors stop by and log in.

Posted at 06:22 PM     Read More  

Is it the Librarian in me... (Mac Blog)

..that makes me ache to divide my content into separate blogs???

Anway... here is Michael's Macintosh....

Posted at 06:19 PM     Read More  

Wed - July 23, 2003

What makes a Public Place? Work Space? Inviting Space? WiFi Space? Info Space?

A new Burger King opened in downtown South Bend last week that offers wireless Internet access to its patrons. BK joins the "major US chains offering WiFi" ranks with the McDonald's in Chicago I mentioned before as well as the old standbys: Borders, B&N, Starbucks and Panera Bread. If McDonalds has a conference area, Starbucks lets you check e-mail, surf and have great coffee (or a steaming Chai made with non-fat soy milk for me thank you very much), and now BK offers the same with burgers and fries....what can libraries or other meeting places/information commons offer? I've been pondering that the lines between library/cafe/commons/hang-out/coffee joint/food place seem really gray to me.

Every morning I try to hit Panera for 60-90 minutes of blog, surf and "pondering time" before work. I guess I've become a morning person. (It's 7:05 am right now!) This has really helped me meet the day of meetings, training sessions and work at SJCPL. I love this time and get more stuff done here than I do at my desk...

I wrote my book at Borders in the winter of 2000-2001.... It was a perfect place to concentrate.... Now, Panera with WiFi is even better... I wonder why?
Is it the appeal of WiFi?
Is it cool spaces? Phil Myrick, Project Manager for Project for Public Spaces, a non-profit organization that helps urban areas rebuild communities (Link ), was interviewed in American Libraries back in April. The article is  "How to Become a Great Public Space" and the TOC describes it this way: Want to attract more users? Marylaine Block interviews Fred Kent and Phil Myrick at the Project for Public Spaces, who suggest you look to your welcome mat.

More to follow...

Posted at 06:33 PM     Read More  

Mon - July 21, 2003

I'm Back...

...after a much needed break from all things related to my profession.... I blogged Up North but did not read my library RSS feeds or blog here... it's good to be back!

Posted at 06:34 PM     Read More  

Back into the Swing

I'm back from vacation in Traverse City. It will be interesting to see the mail and messages that have piled up in my office while I've been gone. I've been pondering a few posts...so watch for them.

Posted at 06:32 PM     Read More  

I've answered two Reference Questions at Panera Bread

I blog and catch up on reading and e-mail at Panera Bread most mornings and on weekends when I'm not in Traverse City. Twice this week I've helped people with informatiopn needs, albeit by eavesdropping for one and by being friendly for the other.

I was writing and a crowd next to me was discussing Haggis... turns out one of them wanted to name their new dog after the Scottish dish... (Haggis...come here boy...Haggis...)

"How do you spell that?" one says... (I click in my Google search box in Safari)

"H-A-G-U-S?" one replies... ( I type Hagges as a guess and hit return)

"H-A-G-G-E-S" (I find the correct spelling in google and a few recipes... )

I grab the PowerBook and approach the table:

"I didn't mean to eavesdrop but...." They were tickled!!!

"I'm a librarian,"I said. "I hear a question like that and I just have to help find the answer...."

I LOVE to tell people I'm a librarian because I like to surprise them.... The long-haired guy in flip flops? a Librarian? Yup....

Maybe an alternate name for this blog might be The Long Haired Librarian

The other question was for directions to Verizon music center in Indianapolis. One of the ladies that give me my tea in the morning asked me for help because she knew "I got on the Internet"

What does this mean? I think it means we should take every chance we get to promote the profession...to let people know that we can assist with finding stuff and teach them to find stuff.... It also says people's information needs are not just contained in libraries or at home in front of computers.... the counter lady...a table full of people.... If WiFi flies and we all have laptops or hand devices to access the Web, maybe online services like our InfoLive will help people with their questions wherever they are.

Posted at 06:30 PM     Read More  

Sun - July 6, 2003


7 days Up North have been good for me. I'm well-rested, relaxed and into reading, swimming and floating on the lake. Watch for some pictures soon...

Posted at 06:28 PM     Read More  

Tue - July 1, 2003

Authors Reply via E-Mail (I'm not a stalker...)

This is a repeat of a post I just made to Dreaming On ...but I thought I'd like to share it here too!

Ok, I'm not a stalker but I have enjoyed e-mailing a couple of authors I've read of late to tell them how much I enjoyed their work. Augusten wrote back, tickling me to no end. William J. Mann did as well. It's is so cool to be able to reach out and tell an author that their work was inspiring or useful or meaningful. Thanks!

Today I got an e-mail from Chris Epting , author of James Dean Died Here: The Locations of America's Pop Culture Landmarks.

A few days ago, I wrote in this blog : "I love books that detail where pop culture stuff has happened: the location of the Brady Bunch House, where Bob Crane was murdered, etc.... sometimes morbid but very cool." A friend of his found the post via a search engine and he wrote to me to say he had seen my post! How cool is that?

Thanks to all writers out there who mount Web sites about themselves and their work and offer an e-mail address!

Posted at 06:38 PM     Read More  

The Accidental Systems Librarian

I was surfing a bit last night and came across this site by librarian and author Rachel Singer Gordon:

The Accidental Systems Librarian

I knew of this title from CIL this year as well as I've e-mailed every once in awhile with Rachel because her book for ALA and my book for Neal Schuman came out around the same time in 2001. This lead me to her TOC page that is also chock-full-of-links to Tons of good stuff for librarians in the IT world or dealing with it.

Her take: if you have been thrown into Systems Librarianship or one day woke up and said "Hey, I'm a Systems Librarian" this book (and that page of links) is for you. It includes links to competencies, training, Web development, etc....

I have a copy on order at SJCPL....can't wait to read it!

Posted at 06:37 PM     Read More  

Queer Eye for the Library Guy

I caught the episode of QEFTSG this weekend where the Fab 5 help John B. propose to his girlfriend. It was the sweetest thing I've seen on TV in a long time. When John teared up... lordy! Maybe in a future episode they'll swoop into a library and carry off a gentleman librarian for a day of plucking, waxing, tanning, shopping and more to prepare for some big event. I'd be glued to the set for that for sure!

Posted at 06:36 PM     Read More  

Information Literacy at UCLA (and Everywhere!)

LISNews points to this article about Gary Strong:


New UCLA university librarian Gary Strong looks to further modernize the campus libraries with the Information Literacy Initiative, one-credit classes in research aid, and higher library privacy.

 ...According to a document released by the university library, information literacy is the ability to identify information needs, locate information efficiently, evaluate information, and to use information effectively and ethically.

I like that definition a lot. Part of SJCPL's mission is to promote info literacy as well. I like the addition of the privacy and ethics bits in the UCLA plans.....

Posted at 06:27 PM     Read More  

Vacation Up North

Greetings...enjoying the final third of my vacation in Traverse City.... all is fine. I'm well-read, well-fed and well-viewed (I saw 3 movies this week). More to follow. The pic is me at a concrete statuary place on north 131 outside of Kalkaska, MI.

Posted at 06:20 PM     Read More  

Mon - June 30, 2003

Vacation... all I ever wanted....

Am I dating myself by using a line from the Go-Gos?

Anyway, I'm off for two weeks to Traverse City... Posts to Tame the Web will be sporadic but I think I'll try to post an entry or two about Libraries up there...make it interesting...


Posted at 06:41 PM     Read More  

Wed - June 25, 2003

Harry Potter & the Public Library's Blog

SJCPL has received our shipment of the new Harry Potter title (read all the LIS news here! ). Joe our Head of Collection Development posted to the SJCPL Book Blog yesterday. This to me is a perfect example of the timeliness of the Public library Weblog. Before, Joe might think "Wow, I'd like to put a pic of all those Harry Potter boxes up on the library's Web site..." He might call the Web developer or one of the IT people. A photo might be taken...hopefully with the digital camera.... That bit might not even get up on the site until a few days later. Now, Joe can run to his Mac, fire up iBlog and make a blog post pretty darn quick. I ran over with the NRDT Sony digital camera and snapped the pics and fired them off to him via iPhoto and the Apple Mail app...

If this works out -- this blog experiment at SJCPL -- I'm all for utilizing blogs wherever they can make generating content easier!

Posted at 06:21 PM     Read More  

Sun - June 1, 2003

Workshop: 21st Century Reference

Jeff Humphrey and I will be doing our all day workshop next week and the week after. I will be presenting "The Reference Interview in the 21st Century" in for Indiana Librarians: June 11 in Indianapolis and June 20 in South Bend. Jeff Humphrey's presentation is "Using the Internet for Reference." Here's the link to INCOLSA who is sponsoring the event.

Posted at 06:39 PM     Read More  

INCOLSA Workshops

I will be presenting my workshop "The Reference Interview in the 21st Century" in June for Indiana Librarians. June 11 in Indianapolis and June 20 in South Bend. It's part of an all day workshop that also features my Indiana colleague Jeff Humphrey's presentation "Using the Internet for Reference."

I will be presenting my workshop "The Reference Interview in the 21st Century" in June for Indiana Librarians. June 11 in Indianapolis and June 20 in South Bend. It's part of an all day workshop that also features my Indiana colleague Jeff Humphrey's presentation "Using the Internet for Reference." More info will follow.

Jeff worked at SJCPL when I started and he has since gone on to INCOLSA ... He's a great librarian and trainer! He just took over the Interactive Media duties at INCOLSA as well. Congrats Jeff!

We did 3 days of the workshops this winter/spring. It was great fun to meet librarians from all over the state.


Posted at 06:35 PM     Read More  

Sat - May 31, 2003

Library Training Orientations & New Employees

I have been following Greg's blog closely at Open Stacks because I'm intrigued by how PLs do orientation for new staff. At SJCPL, we have Circ Catalog training for all new employees that happens asap when they start. We also have an Orientation program that is done every few months.

Greg writes:

Fortunately, this was the good part of the day. I learned the following:

1. Don't park out back. Cars are not safe there. This is despite the fact that this is the library's only parking lot. Nice.

2. The Children's Librarian and her LA are the ones who really know what's up.

3. There are some really cool managers in other branches.

4. We have a rockin' branch-specific Friends of the Library group (yeah!).

5. Our automated system is severely antiquated.

6. My office(!) has tons of free shelf space.

7. Only the middle shelf of my desk locks.

8. My business cards have already been ordered.

Rock on Greg!

Posted at 06:26 PM     Read More  

Fri - May 23, 2003

It's my Birthday and I'll Blog if I want to!

Greetings! Just musing a bit on the 38th birthday tomorrow. I'm amazed at how quickly the last year has passed.

Greetings! Just musing a bit on the 38th birthday tomorrow. I'm amazed at how quickly the last year has passed. 2002 was a year of changes and experience: my father's stroke, becoming his guardian, the publication of my book in the UK (adapted by Phil Bradley for the British Library Association), selling Dad's house, opening the Cottage and spending some FABULOUS weeks in TC, great trips to D.C., Chicago, Palm Springs, Seattle and London , presenting at two InfoToday Conferences as well as some Indiana Library meetings, hiring a team of fellas for NRDT that never cease to amaze me at how good they are at their jobs, and, of course, working at a great job and discovering "the Big Picture."

I'm enjoying this Blog stuff too... more to learn...to create...to ponder...

See you on the other side of 38 (a far cry from the Edge of 17 !)


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Wed - May 21, 2003

ALA Toronto

SARS is back in the news in Toronto....

Just read this on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/05/23/sars/index.html .

I wrestled with attending ALA this year and I've decided not to go. I'm looking at LITA instead. It may be more appropriate for those of us in the Library IT field anyway.


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Thu - May 8, 2003

Quicker than a Ray of Light

Library Staff In-Service Day Video Success!!

A few posts ago I mentioned we were working on a video for our Library In Service day. Dale, Bob, and Adam worked like crazy taping and Dale outdid himself on Final Cut Express -- We burned the final project to DVD using iDVD and showed it at the end of the day for 200 library staff. Patterned after Madonna's "Ray of Light" video, we featured the SJCPL System - showing a day at the library in fast motion, with inserts of staff of various agencies smiling and waving. Some of the staff really got into it! The cool part is only a few people knew what the final product would look like.

The staff LOVED IT! We received cheers, yells, screams and a standing ovation. Everyone got to see just what goes into a day at the library from sorting mail, delivery driving, checking in, checking out, technology training, administrative meetings, business office work and much much more.

Take a look at my departments shots!

As a team building morale booster...this worked very well....

E-mail me if you'd like more info!


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Tue - May 6, 2003

Library In Service day

Consumed with planning....

Sorry for the lack of posts! Forthcoming: review of my new 30GB iPod and news from the Apple Store in Oakbrook, IL.

Right now, the SJCPL Main Library heads are in charge of tomorrow's Library In Service Day. we are providing meals, speakers, team-building and a video production by my department of "A Day at the Library" in the style of Madonna's "Ray of Light" Video (fast motion, time lapses and happy staff waves). The guys in NRDT have worked really hard on this!

More after Staff Day!


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Thu - May 1, 2003

Long Haired Librarians or The Reference Interview Workshop in Indianapolis Yesterday

We had a great crowd yesterday for the INCOLSA workshops! I misjudged how long it would take to drive from South Bend to Indianapolis so I was LATE!! (I was horrified) but the attendees were very nice about it all.

My talk on the Reference Interview went well...we had some good discussion about the stereotypical image of librarians vs. how some librarians are breaking the mold -- long hair, funky clothes, piercings, etc... (i am a big proponent for long hair...)

My view is that libraries should build staffs made of diverse groups of people: male, female, all ages, all races, all everything etc to create a super-comfortable, super welcoming environment so anyone can ask a question. Maybe a library patron would rather talk to long-haired library guy than stern-faced library guy...or vice versa. Rock On!

Posted at 06:39 PM     Read More  

Blogs Explained for SJCPL Staff

For the SJCPL Intranet, I posted this to let the staff know what these blog things are:

You'll notice on the new site two content areas called blogs -- the Book Blog and the Sights and Sounds Blog. Webopedia defines a blog as "a Web page that serves as a publicly-accessible personal journal for an individual." Blogging has created quite a stir in the library tech community because of its ease of use and practicality -- beyond the idea of a "personal journal" a blog can serve as a "Current news" web site. Take a look at Escondido PL in California to see another Blog in action.

For the SJCPL Intranet, I posted this to let the staff know what these blog things are:

You'll notice on the new site two content areas called blogs -- the Book Blog and the Sights and Sounds Blog. Webopedia defines a blog as "a Web page that serves as a publicly-accessible personal journal for an individual." Blogging has created quite a stir in the library tech community because of its ease of use and practicality -- beyond the idea of a "personal journal" a blog can serve as a "Current news" web site. Take a look at Escondido PL in California to see another Blog in action.

We have started with 2 blogs as a pilot program approved by the SJCPL Administration and Web Team. This may expand if the blogs prove popular!

Take a look at Joe Sipocz's Book Blog and Julie Hill's Sights and Sounds Blog off the new web Page!

Call or e-mail me with questions & comments!


Posted at 06:38 PM     Read More  

End of the Semester!

My section of L401 (Computer Based Information Tools) has come to an end!

Las night was our last meeting in my section of L401. L401 is the Technology/Information Literacy requirement for new SLIS students at IU. I have been teaching/lab instructing since Spring 1997 -- and I LOVE IT! This semester I had a great group of 11 -- all were interested in libraries and either worked in schools, libraries or were moving into the LS program. This semester the class was different. Instead of weekly assignments on topics like UNIX, Word, PPT, Web searching, etc we had 4 giant assignments due at the end as an electronic portfolio. I am very proud of my class for doing so well on all of their projects!

My favorite part of the class this year was our discussions about various topics: filtering in libraries, training in library settings, blogging, RSS, my experiences at CIL 2003, library staffing, new services, old services that might be past their prime, etc.

Thanks to all of you for a great semester!


Posted at 06:36 PM     Read More  

Updated Tame the Web & WiFi Access @ the Bread Shop

I gave www.tametheweb.com a much needed facelift last night. Following some of the principles I've gathered from Valerie (Web Usability Expert that she is!) and notable Usability Gurus like Darlene Fichter, I scaled back the graphics AND the text. Check out Jakob Nielson's site for more!

On the WiFi front (one of my new obsessions/passions depending on how well you know me), I am totally taken with the fact that our Mishawaka Panera Bread offers FREE wireless access in their place and all the way into the parking lot. I wish Borders, B&N and some of my favorite eateries would do the same!

Libraries of course are moving to wireless as well. We've had wireless access at our Centre Branch at SJCPL since 1999 for laptops!

Posted at 06:32 PM     Read More  

What is Tame the Web?

Tame the Web is:

Access to online information

Understanding the community that is the Internet

Studying the relationship between libraries and the online world

Using various tools to evaluate and use what we find "out there..."

Posted at 06:30 PM     Read More  

Library Fashionista

Posted at 06:30 PM     Read More  

Public Libraries Using Blogs

PLs can benefit from Blogs! and CIL 2003 inspirations, yes, again!

I've been pondering Public Libraries and Blogs a lot since I started TTWBlog and Dreaming On . Our Assistant Director sent me a post to PubLib about some PLs that are using Blogs to their advantage. Here's LaGrange PL's Blog -- their entry as I'm writing this is on new DVDs for May. (Hoolia - take note!) Here's Glenview IL too. And all of these!!! How easy is this to put up current happenings, what's new posts, blurbs about events (we had great success a few weeks ago with the Blue's Clues touring company stortytime -- it'd be fun to have a post about that) and whatever else we might think of.

I'm also pondering an internal blog for our staff Intranet.

CIL 2003 had some cool programs that featured blogging, RSS and how these technologies can better serve our users and ourselves. Steven Cohen's "Keeping Current" program REALLY inspired me. My plan at SJCPL is to introduce our managers and administration to RSS, aggregators and blogging. I am also set to meet with part of our Web team about blogs on the new site.

How many Library Technology Trainer's blogs are there out there? This one... :-) Michael Sauers, who writes for Neal Schuman as well and who presented in the same track as me at CIL 2000. And others I'm sure.... if you have one, e-mail me!


Posted at 06:30 PM     Read More  

Mon - April 21, 2003

Lovin the Laptop

Is 2003 the year of the Laptop? In my book it is!

I think it was in MacWorld I read that Steve Jobs said "2003 is the year of the laptop." I agree. This new Powerbook G4 17" is rocking my world with how easy it is to use, connect, etc. Thanks to Steven at the Apple Store in Oakbrook for hooking me up with an excellent machine.

Here I am at Panera writing this entry... Taken with my Sony Clie...sent via Bluetooth to the G4 and published to this Blog with iBlog!

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