June 30, 2004

Dinner with Rachel Singer Gordon

I had the pleasure of having dinner with Rachel Singer Gordon Saturday night in Orlando! What fun. We fell right into conversation about our libraries, UNT, technology, conferences and writing for the library world.

I appreciate Rachel's writing and view of the library world! thanks for a great time, Rachel!

Posted by Michael at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2004

LITA Top Technology Trends: An ALA 2004 Congrunt

LITA Top Technology Trends – An ALA Congrunt

(Note: no wifi makes it into the Ballroom of the Peabody Hotel but the Lobby upstairs offers free WiFi! I’ll post this after the session.)

Ok - The moderator said the names so quickly, said them only once and the room was so full that I never caught them in the way I should have. I will come back and edit this soon but I wanted to post it now before I leave the lobby of the Peabody! Take a look at this page of contributors at LITA's Web site.


Eric Lease Morgan, University of Notre Dame:

Two different piles of trends: Collections & Services

E-resource management systems: MARC is not good enough to describe our collections, which are much more diverse: leased data, etc.

Open source software is one way to create tools we need to manage collections

“If the whole of the library is a book:” each page is something different – the library’s Web site is like a Table of Contents and the library’s catalog is like the index in the back of the book. The two compliments each other.

We can create our own collections with Web Services – OAI is an example of this technology.”

“Collections without services is like the sound of one hand clapping”

People are expecting more and more stuff from libraries. Amazon, Google & eBay set expectations.

“What has the library done for me lately?”

Note from MS: I liked this point. What are librarians doing to keep people excited about coming to the library. I'm also reminded of Andrew K. Pace's point at CIL's Dead Tech Session that if we dumb down our public PCs in the name of "security" are we really serving our users?

Next Fellow:

Trend: Personal software that sits with the user.

Problem: The world of e-mail: “systematic destruction” of an effective communication tool. Filters have made systems unreliable. Authentication may alleviate some.

Marshall Breeding:

Library Automation: systems are constantly changing and improving. JAVA is in use as a client-side environment, replacing Windows. If any new protocol comes out that does not support XML it’s in trouble.

Electronic Resource Management: a crisis: we need more tools to manage our resources. We spend a lot of $$$ why has this become a problem? The solution will take care of OpenURL issues, link resolving and other issues.

Open Source: ILS systems could go to Open Source. Look at the Georgia example.

MS: And run to CJ's excellent post about it at technobiblio!

Networking: Thoughts on what to purchase: Gigabit Ethernet should be the commodity now. (Somone on the podium chimed in:.. some applause in the room...) WiFi: 802.11g is the flavor of the day.

Roy Tennant: (who had his 17” PowerBook on the podium with him and various storage devices)

Three things Roy knows: one that is true, one he hopes is true and one he wishes was true

Know: Storage: This is the year that it became a reasonable proposition for someone to have a terabyte of storage. All devices come with storage.

People are now carrying on their person now than we had on our desktops a few years ago! How will this impact libraries? Will students get their course readings downloaded onto their storage devices?

MS:Dr. O’Connor distributed readings on CDROM.

Hope: We are entering the Golden Age of Digital Libraries: We have developed common terminologies and common experience in creating digital libraries. Basic standards and protocols are emerging. We can create new collections and services.

Wish: Creation of a new bibliographic infrastructure for libraries – “MARC must die!” there must be deeper ways to create catalog records. For example, a digitized TOC might be shared between libraries ofr their catalogs.

Walt Crawford:

Four suggestions from Readers:

A Problem: DRM “Digital Restrictions Management” Why is it so difficult for libraries to circulate legal MP3 files. It could be that libraries will only be able to circ BOOKS!

A Promise: Open Source access may allow huge repositories of scholarly publication, changing the model of publishing

The next two he labeled as "fads:"

Fads: “Blogging is Catching On” and some blogs are very useful. Example: ResourceShelf.

Fads: “RSS” – Growing potential for agencies to deliver documents and alerting people to things they may be interested in.

Joan Frye Williams:

A PL Library’s Web Site should be like a branch. They are management and service related. Leads to a trend: the line between the tech-heads and the front-line librarians has blurred. Librarians are using technology tools to help people.

PLs should run your web site like a branch.

Migration of Info Commons idea to Teen services: to reach the people you want to reach, look at what academic libraries are doing for scholars and apply it.

Problem: Self Check and touch screens do not lend themselves to bibliographic data. Home Depot self-checks have had negative impact on the opinion of such services.

Emerging Trend: UW I School “Information Silence and Sanctuary” – info rich environments and what that means to humans. How to construct these environments. Layer on layer of more info and tech changes the way we move through this environment – classic response is rejection. Maybe there are better ways to create info environments?

Things to be afraid of: biometrics. Watch out for Biometric companies that are romancing local governments – hmmm, the library has a lot of people that could be identified via thumbprint, etc.

Final point: Kids are born into this technology-laden world. They get it. Wired into it to make sense of it all: cell phones, etc. “well practice dude.”

Mitch Wolf:

We need to re-conceive our libraries to allow 60+ folks to help us manage resources, etc. They want to help.

Last guy:

Utility computing: outsourcing some IT work. Sometimes makes economic sense, sometimes not.

Watch: JPEG 2000 – has interesting archival aspects and prospects of interactive manipulation.

Posted by Michael at 06:43 PM | Comments (1)

Happiness is... (Part II)

Having lunch at Dan Marino's and finding it's a Wifi Hotspot!

Off to LITA's Top Tech trends program...

Posted by Michael at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

Aaron hits One Hundred


Rock ON Aaron... 100 IM questions to his PL's screename.

He writes: "For no cost not only have we become more available, but I've helped patrons that otherwise wouldn't have been helped. I've done more Young Adult Readers' Advisory in the past 2 months than I have in the previous 2 years. YAs have sent me messages asking about the library's hours, and prizes for summer reading program. I bet that these things aren't a big enough deal for them to make a telephone call, but shooting me a quick message is more convenient. Perhaps this is grandiose, but I can't help but thinking that I'm breathing some life into libraries for these kids."

Go ahead...be grandiose...this is darn cool!

"At no cost" ... nice...not $20,000 not $10,000... at no cost -- or just the cost of the cool cards he made up", he has added a valuable service to his PL.

Posted by Michael at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

Walt Crawford's Cites & Insights


Walt took a look at my "Ten Things I've learned Presenting at Library Conferences" and added them to his latest issue, with notes of his own and Karen's stuff as well. Very cool.

It's a great issue too!

Posted by Michael at 09:19 PM | Comments (1)

June 21, 2004

Dallas Apple Store


A much much much better retail environment than the Seattle store!

Oh, heck, here's what I wrote then:
During my stay in Seattle for the Public Library Association Conference I planned to visit the Apple store and buy two more iSights and an iPod mini. I was outside the store with the Sony camera shooting the silvery Apple logo and two employees came out and stood on either side of me. The female said: "Excuse me what are you photographing...we have a policy... what are the pictures for?" I said "For my blog of Apple Stores I have visited..." She explained they had strict rules about photography... I understand that the policy is no interior photography which I respect, but the outside of the freakin store?????? I was pretty dumbstruck at this low in customer service. The female spoke so quickly and anxiously I was horrified that I had agitated her so much.

I cooled off for a bit...went in and told the Store Manager that I had planned to purchase but would take my business back to Apple North Michigan!

Apple - I understand no photography inside but tell those Seattle Apple store people to get a grip... why put up such a beautiful facade if you aren't allowed to photograph it!?

Oh..and look at this from 2003!

Posted by Michael at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2004

Off to ALA!!!

Have I mentioned I'm off to ALA on Thursday? Probably not with all the school stuff starting.

I'm going down for a few meetings, exhibits and to see some library folk. I am also going to visit Disney and Universal!

I was disappointed in the lack of tech stuff at PLA, so we will see how this plays out. I chose a Hilton property that has FREE wireless throughout the building!

I am travelling with my dear friend Keith, who was my roomate through 2 years of undergrad days in Bloomington "back in the day." We always seem to have a blast no matter where we go.

Shoot me an IM or message if you are going to be there!

Posted by Michael at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

Happiness is...

...finding David Sedaris' new book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim on iTunes music store via Audible UNABRIDGED for $16.95!!!!

Life is good.

Posted by Michael at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004

Survey - Your Life..My stats class

Each of us has an assignment to get ten people to take this survey so we can generate data for our stats work. Maybe a few of my blog visitors can assist me.


Please take just a few minutes to help me out! Thanks!

Posted by Michael at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2004

UNT Cohort Gallery

I just snapped a few pics this weekend... here they are:


Posted by Michael at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

Day Three (Painless Stats!?)

Sunday class time was 9am-3pm with time for a carried in lunch. we chatted a whole lot more about the whole experience and talked about future Institutes in Denton. We will spend weekends in Texas:


2005 will have fewer meetings and more online stuff.

The last part of the day was spent with Dr. Richard herrington, who will be teaching our online class SLIS 6940 Seminar in Research and Research Methodology. The text is an InfoToday book (yeah!) Statistical Methods for the Information Professional: A Practical, Painless Approach to Understanding, Using, and Interpreting Statistics by Liwen Vaughan. I am especially enamored of the word "painless" in that title. we needed more time though because once 3pm hit we had to leave -- most of the cohort for the airport!

This will be a true online class: 13 modules of reading the book, PPTs and writing/analyzing stats. I am not a math guy in anyway so this rattles me. But the book seems very cool so far.

At 3pm we departed...many to the airport or to their cars for a drive back to somewhere. I took two of my cohort colleagues to DFW and went to my next stop: Dallas and 3 days of decompression.

Posted by Michael at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

Day Two

Day Two was spent in class with Dr. O'Connor. IMLS 6000, the introductory Info Science course, is an overview of the studylife of a doctoral student. We discussed the nature of information, definitions of what information is (and yes, a digital file of a Fleetwood Mac song is information...) and such topics as entropy. At noon time we headed to lunch at Johnny Corrino's across the way from the Hampton. I had the BEST low carb salmon dish ever.

The afternoon was spent discussiong various PPTs that Dr. O'Connor presented. It was also one of the times a few of us freaked a bit. It seemed so overwhelming toward the end of the day... but we made it through!

Dr. Sam Hastings opened her home to us, the faculty and other Doc.MLS students for dinner, drinks and a whole lot of socializing. It was so cool. One of the women in the on campus PhD program is engaged to Nick from Bowling for Soup who I got to chat with.

The day was long though, and I faded by 9...just time to hang out with some of the cohort by the whirlpool spa back at the hotel and then bed...

Posted by Michael at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2004

The NextGen Men! Read about em!

Check out Rachel Singer Gordon's new piece about NextGen male librarians:


Aaron is amonst them! Rock On!

Posted by Michael at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2004

Introducing the IMLS UNT PhD Cohort

What a great group of folks! Dr. Brian O'Connor is with us in this shot!

Posted by Michael at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2004


We spent all day in class and the evening at a dinner at Dr. Hastings house -- which was fab! I will write more tomorrow!


Posted by Michael at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

Pondering....Info Entropy

Here's our afternoon's focus:


Posted by Michael at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

Day One

It was a whirlwind. I was exhausted by the time I came back to my room.

I went downstairs before our set 3pm meeting time and there were members of the cohort everywhere - checking in, hanging out in the lobby, and swimming in the hotel pool. It was nice to put real live people with e-mails and photos online.

We offcially convened at 3pm with a general session with Dr. Brian O'Connor and did some Q & A. Then we shuttled over to the UNT Campus and attended a "meet & greet" with the faculty complete with wine and cheese.

Then we adjourned to a boardroom style space at the Info Science building for an overview of what the process would be. This was the "deer in the headlights" moment for a few of us. I must confess it suddenly seemed overwhelming.

Good questions and some calming by Dr. O'Connor helped. I think we are all going to learn in this process: students (the cohort) and the faculty.

Posted by Michael at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2004

Meeting the Faculty

We will meet and greet in just a few hours, but to get a good grip I'm "meeting" the facuilty via their Video greetings. I like this a lot. Could libraries do such a thing? Videos of greeting from various folks like the director or Head Librarian?


Posted by Michael at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

In Texas

I'm at the Denton, Texas Hampton Inn... a nice room in a nice place. I drove around the campus of UNT this am. They are closed up for Ronald Reagan's funeral today.

This has been a difficult time. I haven't taken on such a life change like this since my dad had the stroke (and that life change came out of nowhere, totally unexpected.) This change I did myself.

Am I up to the challenge? Can i do such work?

Things that have made the transition easier:

The support of SJCPL, working with me to cut my hours and work in half for 2 years.

The support of many folks - you know you are!

Jake and Charlie

A text message on my phone yesterday from Aaron that said "You'll do great!"


We meet at 3pm to get this ball rolling....

Posted by Michael at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2004

This is It... I'm Leaving

It is 4:47am and I'm leaving for the airport. I'll be in Dallas by early afternoon and on my way to Denton to meet the cohort and begin the PhD. Please wish me luck and watch for posts about what is shaping up to be a rigorous weekend of class, meet & greets and bonding.

Posted by Michael at 05:50 AM | Comments (0)

Z-Blog Goes Live

Steve Oberg, the Family Man Librarian, just put the finishing touches on a new blog for the Zondervan library at Taylor University.


Nice. I especially like the name... catchy AND relevant.

Way to go Steve!

Posted by Michael at 05:46 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

Ten Things a Blogging Librarian Must Do (an exercise in common sense)

Cite your sources. Link to them. It's what this Web and blog thing is all about.

Post often but have something to say. I'd rather read one or two super good posts than multiple posts that someone puts up because they feel they have to. I've done that here. I used to post everyday, but now I focus on what's really interesting me and what I can comment on.

However: make the commitment though to follow through. It pains me to see a new blog go up, get listed here and there and then never hear from it again. Blogging is an investment of time and energy, commit.

Post about what you're passionate about and don't be afraid to say what you think!

And share yourself. I love learning about folks and how they see the world. Their POV may help me understand or change mine. It also adds to the community that is the blogosphere and more so the Internet. We are people... be yourself!

Never miss an opportunity to show your administration how well an external library blog is working. Did you get a nice email from someone who found your blog helpful? Forward it to all involved. It's feedback of the best kind.

If you are doing a personal blog, don't do it on your library's dime. Breaks? Lunch? Sure! In the speaking I've done about blogging I've had numerous library admin types ask what to do about a blogger on their staff. If it's a library-related blog, discuss what you might do as part of professional development with your supervisor.

Blog unto others as you'd have them blog unto you. In other words, play nice. I don't want to read flames. I do want to read a differing opinion from someone who thought out their points on whatever the topic of the day is.

Read other blogs for inspiration and AHHA moments. Chime in. CITE!

Learn all there is to know about your blog app and make use of its features. These are good skills to have.

Have FUN!

(well, that was 11! :) )

Posted by Michael at 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2004

I'm all about the ROI

Nice! (Still going through 100+ RSS entries in my aggregator)

RFID in Libraries has this excellent post on the ROI (return of investment) of RFID in libraries that includes details on calculating a pretty exact ROI.

Simply, it's not just an investment of X-thousand dollars and you are up and running. It's all the pieces: staff time, etc. Read this one and apply it to any and all new technology initiatives your library is considering!

(and check this out as well: Another ROI Tool)

Thanks Laura!

UPDATE: Aaron gets it to. read his overview of adding technology based services here.

Posted by Michael at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

Free Range Librarian at New Domain

Karen let me know she's moved to a new domain (and, like me, she watches The Sopranos which finished its season last night on HBO - GREAT episode!) We also chatted a bit and I realized how helpful she's been with helping me make the decisions about the PhD. Allow me a public moment: THANKS Karen!

Check out http://freerangelibrarian.com/

Nice colors! Nice look! Good stuff.

Posted by Michael at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2004

Jenny points to the Future of library use - are we ready?

Read this:


This is the future! Jenny... my world is rocking. Is your library ready for converged devices? Are your librarians savvy -- and SHIFTED if you will -- enough to embrace and understand thses new directions?

(and this is my 100th MT post!)

Posted by Michael at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

"Would You Like Wireless with That?"

CJ at technobiblio, who consistently hits on stuff that gets me thinking and saying a "Wow" internally, has this fabulous post about ALA and wireless.

He writes: My dream - this "check-box" exists at the registration desk this year - Conference staff person: "Here is your scarlet letter (I mean canvas bag) with lots of junk that you will just throw away - and would you like wireless access while at the conference for only $25?"

Me: (all googly-eyed and blinded by the clouds parting and the angels singing): "Why, yes, I think I would."

Conference staff person: "Okay, please pay over there - where you can also purchase a wireless card if you do not have one and receive directions and assistance from a techno librarian buddy to get everything working."

Uh yeah! I want to be a "techno librarian buddy!" What's up withthis lack of connectivity and savvy at some of these big conferences? Time is not stopping for us folks. I want to be blogging from the third row of any darn meeting room I find myself in at any conference I might attend this year.

PLA really made me low at the lack of tech-savvy ANYTHING! Wireless was few and far between, costly and in weird places - McDonald's and their weird pricing structure comes to mind.

I wrote this there and I still believe it should be!

I'll be at ALA -- with my laptop. I'll be blogging a bit (and also having a ton-o-fun!) Our hotel has FREE wireless!! They want to attrract guests and furnish a service many travellers are expecting... Hmmm...

Posted by Michael at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

The Day After Tomorrow

I am back from 9 days Up North in Traverse City. Memorial Day was rainy so we headed to the theatre. My movie choice was The Day After Tomorrow and I was tickled to see it included some heroic librarians.

Today, I'm getting caught up on my news and blog posts. At LISNews, there's a link to the Lipstick Librarian's post about the movie. I'm going through the links and it's great! Joe Schallon's review is wonderful as well. He got the Capital Records Building reference that rocked my world.

I am totally a disaster film fan -- I've seen em all and own many of my favorites on DVD so this is fun stuff. The fact that the librarians become heroes in a way is a nice touch!

Don't miss TDAT for 2 hours of popcorn-munching, Diet Coke-sipping, "don't want to leave to straighten my tie because I'll miss something" Summer fun!

Posted by Michael at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)