February 28, 2005

I'm In (I'm a Blog Person!)


Well done Greg & Karen!

I am loathe to link just to the LJ piece... other suggestions?

Posted by Michael at 08:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PL Toolbar

Via LISNews:


Get a load of that! Talk about PRESENCE! Well done Harris County Public Library.

If we are selling our message of provideing access and materials, what better way than actually putting that "message" into someone's browser. The public library needs to be in people's minds -- not just as an afterthought when other resources fail. I'd be interested in what prmotional activities the library is doing as well as what training staff and the public received!

Posted by Michael at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2005

An Open (yet personal) letter to Michael Gorman

Dear Mr. Gorman:

After being struck speechless early this morning when your article and commentary related to it began to pop up on the LIS Weblogs I monitor, I feel the need to write a bit. Maybe I can assist you with the question you posed in Library Journal:

Who are the Blog People?

I realize this is a broad question and your article did not single out librarians as bloggers, but here goes:

I am a librarian and I am a blogger. I love libraries -- especially the public library. I've been with the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, IN for almost 14 years. My library's blog is here. I have worked hard to improve services to our users via my particular passions: staff and public technology training, using new technologies to meet user needs and the juncture of tech, people and libraries.

"Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable."

In response to this quote, let me tell you a bit more about me. I am a doctoral student at the University of North Texas in the inter-disciplinary Information Science program and I have spent quite a bit of time reading scholarly works and professional articles. Since June I have been gathering information on online communities and the interactions of people within them. I have written literature reviews, proposals for research, critiques of articles and multiple blog posts on my experiences and thoughts about libraries and librarians. The community of practice I have seen spring up within the LIS Blogosphere has inspired me to participate, write better and seek opportunities to show librarians how such a simple thing as Weblog software can ease the dissemination of information and generate knowledge.

Ultimately I want to teach in a library school somewhere, focusing on public libraries, technology and people.

"...technology-obsessed progressives.."

I do like technology. I write about technology. I use it and I teach others how to make their jobs or lives better by using a computer, or a digital camera, or an RSS feed from CNN, or a Web index. I hope I'm not obsessed. I'd like to think I'm passionate. And I recognize the need to balance it all out. Work. Life. Love. Spirit. I call it unplugging.

Overall, it just makes me sad that ALA has yet to get a grip on what's happening in libraries: Blogs - yes. RSS feeds - yes. Instant Messaging as a tool to reach users - yes. Wikis - yes. And finally, online/real world communities of practice -- in this case: groups of librarians working together with the common goal of meeting user needs and meeting our users on their turf, not ours -- interacting, learning and generating knowledge - yes.

I'd love to see ALA look seriously at libraries with blogs and librarians who blog and acknowledge how our profession has changed because of such a simple yet powerful thing.

Michael Stephens

Posted by Michael at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2005

iPod as Listening Station

From a reader Down Under:

Hi Michael,

Yesterday I was thinking about using iPods in our public library, and some web and blog searching today uncovered your comments at your blog. I said almost exactly the same thing to a colleague yesterday - iPods are the coolest device around at the moment (in terms of public perception), so how cool would it be for the library to be seen using them?

Anyway, my idea was this:

The library buys an iPod mini - or several

The library purchases music online and uploads to iPod. New music (top 10 etc) can be purchased daily/weekly and uploaded.

We buy/build a secure casing that can attached to a desk, wall, computer carrel etc, where we can lock the iPod into - quick and easy listening station - much like a demo kiosk you may see in shops selling iPods

Yes it defeats the portability of the iPod, but it provides a cheap, flexible, 'cool' way of providing several listening stations in the library. I'll continue to investigate it, and look forward to seeing more info about public libraries using iPods!


Warren Cheetham
Information Services Librarian
Thuringowa Library Services

Posted by Michael at 06:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2005

Libraries Doing Cool Things with iPods:

Michael's iPodIf that's all there is...Poet in My HeartDeliver Me

I've been thinking a lot about what libraries might do with iPods and I've actually written about it here before. I'm glad to see Pew report on MP3 at http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/p/1047/pipcomments.asp that Karen pointed to. I've lamented that some of the big names in recorded e-content don't recognize the iPod as well. But finally come two synchronous "iPods in Libraries" happenings. First, from Jeff Steely at Baylor comes this short article about what the library there is doing with iPods, emailed a few days ago:

Audio Reserves To Go Program Launched

This spring, the Crouch Fine Arts Library and the Electronic Library launched an exciting new feature called Audio Reserves To Go. For many years, students could listen to their music assignments only in the fine arts library. This past year, the library made these listening assignments available to students online. The entire semester's listening assignments for all music courses are loaded onto the iPods, and students can easily listen to them with headphones. Students involved in the Audio Reserves To Go pilot program in December said that the ability to check out iPods with the listening assignments on them has totally changed how they go about studying the music. With the iPods, students can listen while walking between classes or at other times when being in the library or logged on to a computer would not be possible. The program currently offers 12 iPods for students to check out. The Audio Reserves To Go program was made possible by funds from the Library Fellows, an organization of dedicated Baylor friends who generously support the libraries. (ShaTowers, Crouch Fine Arts Library, Baylor University)"

How cool is that?

Heres' a bit more of the techie details from Tim Logan at the library (via Jeff):

This coming semester, we’re using iPods to carry the project further. Every iPod (40GB 4GL models) has ALL of the audio reserves for ALL of the music classes for the entire semester.  Our management system (more on that below) creates Notes files for the iPod, listing the names of audio tracks with clickable links to the appropriate audio track on the iPod.  The Notes files are created and named based on the name of the class; MUS 4330, for example.  That file contains the listing of the listening assignments for that class.  Some class listings are split over multiple files due to the iPod 4k limit on Notes files, but the management system automatically includes a and link at the bottom of each Notes file as needed.  We put the iPods into Notes-only mode, so the student sees just the listing of the classes available on the iPod. Opening the appropriate file takes you to the list of assignments, and clicking on the link for an assignment plays the associated file.

One other note: when ripping CDs new to the system, we use a ripping station running iTunes.  Most of the CDs are properly discovered in CDDB, saving us data entry time.  When the CD is ripped, the new tracks are put into a specific playlist, and then an AppleScript is run to convert the MP3 files in the playlist to hinted MOV files and move them onto the QuickTime Streaming Server.

WOWZA! This sends me.... As does this, which Mr. Aaron Schmidt IMed to me this morning... I fell off my chair:"...news about a public library in South Huntington, Long Island loaning out iPod shuffles loaded with books on tape. This innovative use of new technology brings a smile to our faces. (Source: http://apple.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000913032907/

Here's another link: http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000953032902/

Well, that prompted me to pick up the phone and call South Huntington Library and chat with Assistant Director Joseph Latini about the program. This is one of the first times I think I've done an "interview" for TTW.

Joe and I missed each other a few times, playing phone tag with voicemail. But finally we got a chance to chat. He informed me that the library purchased 6 1GB iPod Shuffles. They circulate in a camera-style case with a car adaptor, a small "how-to" sheet created by the library, a Tunecast FM transmitter, a charger and a mini stereo connector. The Shuffles circulate for 21 days with a $1 a day fine per day overdue. What suprised me most of all was that the library has created an account with the iTunes Music Store and they buy albums and burn them to CD, print the artwork and circulate them! ROCK ON! So now they will purchase audiobooks via iTunes as well for the shuffles. "It's cheaper anyway." Joe said.

As to theft, Joe said that the library uses video cameras in all areas but has let go of casing everything in the AV area. The same goes for the Shuffles. If it doesn't come back, it's $150 to replace it. I like that idea. Simple. Like iPod.

How did this come about, I asked. "Our director, " Joe said "is very cutting edge." Nice.

I also had the pleasure of telling Joe that the news was moving across the blogosphere, finding its way to Dave's Blog this noontime. "This will be big, " I said.

If your library is doing similar things with iPods -- why don't you comment here and tell me about it! I am so intrigued by this and wish the South Huntington Library all the best with their iPod project.


With that, here are a few ponderances and implications for iPods in Libraries...

* An art library could circulate iPod Photos with the art collection digitized for all those Art History class folks take. With the included cable, the artworks could be reviewed on practically any television.

* A library could take the iPod Photo uses farther and circulate players with presentations/slide shows on them about the library and its services. Think of the possibilities if the iPod evetually serves out video as well.

* I still think SOMEHOW a library could work out circulating music on iPods to users for pleasure listening or sampling the collection. It might take a boat load of money but couldn't a library buy a few iPods and get an iTunes Music Store Account and download maybe 100 songs to each (to start with). If one of your library goals is to offer chances to utilize new technologies this is perfect! (But the $$$$ are flashing in front of me) (This was written before Joe informed me his library is buying songs from iTunes.)


*Apple could offer libraries a deal on iTunes music and audiobooks. That would be sweet and good PR for all. (Ok, am I dreaming?)

*Why iPod you ask when other players are cheaper and maybe more friendly with Windows? The iPod has gained almost sacred ground in pop culture. Those white headphones say a lot as you saunter down the street -- be it Dallas, Seattle, London or Chicago. It is the must have of the MP3 players. How cool is it then for a library to position itself to introduce/allow access to one of the hippest NOW devices around? (South Huntington..you rock!)

* Could libraries give users a chance to load their own iPod via iTunes in the library computing center? Talk about user-centered! Here's an iPod Shuffle and a library of 100 songs... fill it up!

* Finally: a rant: Vendors of digital content: if you do not support the iPod - GET OUT OF TOWN! What is up with that when the iPod has some of the highest numbers around? I know. I know. DRM blah Blah blah... somehow this needs to work. Will it be you, vendors, or will it be Apple? Maybe we can all meet in the middle. And AUDIBLE rules in my book.

Please ponder, checkout what SHPL is doing and comment here with thoughts about iPods in libraries.

Posted by Michael at 05:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And there's bread too!

John, who reads TTW, sends this:

"Thought you might find this of interest.  Here is a Slashdot item about Panera being the largest WiFi provider in the country:


Posted by Michael at 08:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2005

Reinventing Libraries: Purpose, Patrons, People and Processes

Announcing the INCOLSA Management Institute Spring 2005 offering

Reinventing Libraries: Purpose, Patrons, People and Processes
Redesigning Libraries for a Changing Set of Realities
Wednesday, April 6, 2005 - Indiana Wesleyan University Kokomo
Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - Indiana Wesleyan University Kokomo
Wednesday, June 6, 2005  - Indiana Wesleyan University Kokomo

INCOLSA is pleased and very excited to announce this 3-part series of 1-day stand-alone workshops based on emerging data from a series of research projects by OCLC and others on how the landscape for libraries is changing. The workshop presenters examine in a highly experiential way some approaches libraries can use to collaboratively design their organizations to be increasingly relevant to the changing realities in their communities and their staffs. Each session will examine an aspect of the puzzle. While it is highly recommended that participants attend all three sessions to get the maximum value, each session is a stand-alone independent program.

If you are a library director or department head concerned about where you will be taking your library or department in the next 3 to 5 years, this series is an absolute must for you to attend. You can continue with your "by guess and by golly" approach if you want, or can you can begin to get a handle on things and come to terms with your future. The librarianship we practice today is not static and, while there are no crystal balls to be had, this series of workshops will help you  become more knowledgeable and confident of where we are going in the future in terms of professional and patron services.

Sharon Wiseman (Former Associate Director for Library Development at the Indiana State Library, co-designer of LEAD-IN, and currently Director of Staff Development for the Chicago Public Library)

Dan Wiseman (Co-Designer/Presenter of LEAD-IN, former senior consultant at the American Productivity and Quality Center, library leadership consultant)

 Michael Stephens (Special Projects Librarian for the St. Joseph County (Indiana) Public Library-one of America’s best, currently in the IMLS Distance Library Cohort Ph.D. program at the University of North Texas and blogger for Tame the Web: Technology & Libraries).

For more information: INCOLSA Web Site

Posted by Michael at 04:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2005

Six Tips to Enjoy Computers in Libraries 2005

I am really looking forward to this year's Computers in Libraries conference at the Washington DC Hilton March 16-18. This will be my sixth trip out to DC for this conference! I've been reading Chad's writing at Hidden Peanuts and was happy to see he found a way to attend CIL this year -- his first. I would recommend this conference to any librarian interested in learning more about what is happening in that space where technology and libraries meet.

For those going, have fun! Here are Six Tips to Enjoy Computers in Libraries 2005:

1. Six Feet Under: Don't miss the TechForum 2005! It's Wednesday night, after a reception when the exhibits open so you get some food, some "festive" beverage of your choice and a couple of hilarious hours with some presenters discussing dead and emerging technologies moderated by Mr. D. Scott Brandt. And my friend Aaron is on the panel this year!

2. Dine Dine Around : Look for announcements about dine arounds and choose one or two and go! A Dine Around is sort of like a hungry community of interest that goes out to eat together and discusses a particular topic. Last year's blogger's dinner was a HOOT! This is a great way to meet like-minded/focused folks and do some networking.

3. Plugging In: Speaking of networking, don't miss time in the exhibits to meet vendors, publishers, authors and other people who may give you info or insight into your own projects. The receptions are particularly good for rubbing some librarian elbows.

4. Unplugging: While in DC, break away during down times. The Metro can take you anywhere. My faves? National Cathedral, the Mall and the Smithsonian. Also take advantage of what DuPont Circle has to offer in the way of dining and shopping. You'll find cuisine from around the world, unique gifts and some nightlife right down the hill from the Hilton. The coffee place (XandO? Cosi?) right across from the Church of Scientology had 5 wifi networks covering it, good tea and food as well.

5. Don't be too shy! If you see someone at CIL that you've read/heard and you'd like to ask him or her a question or make a comment -- go for it! Librarians are pretty darn approachable, and if someone isn't - shame on them!

6. If you love it - COME BACK! Have something to say? Propose a talk. Guess what? Speakers get their conference fees waived! :-)

See you in DC!

Posted by Michael at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Exploring Weblogs at Purdue University

Bookstall at Purdue

Last Friday I presented a 90 minute talk on Weblogs, RSS and Wikis for a group of 35 Purdue University librarians. It was a wonderful experience!

My goals for the session:

Demonstrate how powerful blog software can be to meet the needs of delivering content externally and internally in libraries

Provide explanation of how blogging works, what RSS is about and how to use Bloglines to gather content.

Define some of the top tech trends swirling around this whole idea of blogs/rss/wikis... and OSS, folksonomies, etc.

Some of the coolest parts:

* Playing Karen's podcast of TTT on some great speakers and walking to the back of the room while she invoked what technologies are heaeded our way. After the cast, I went back up front and posed a questions: How many of the trends she mentioned have hit on in the talk so far? Quite a few actually as we moved through blogging, podcasting, photo blogging, folksonomies, etc.

* Discussing customizable RSS feeds of new library materials and seeing a lady in the back make a thumbs up! I said ""Thumbs up! You just made my day."

* Having in attendance the Dean of Purdue University Libraries who taught my Library Management class at IUSB in 1995! Throughout my talks these days I emphasis education and buy-in of adminstration is key to successful tech-based initiatives in libraries. How cool to have him there...and on the front row!

* Dining the night before with Scott Brandt and Rebecca Richardson, who arranged the presentation, and covering such topics as the merits and drawbacks of podcasting ("That podcasting is so hot right now..and so is Hansel."), librarians who blog, research studies with titles longer than this whole post!, and some interesting theories concerning reality television.

* The two folks in the back that had been discussing flickr on the way to the presentation and then whooped when I demonstrated photo-blogging and tagging! (and who nodded and smiled big everytime I said "RSS")

* The idea of internal communication enhanced by a blog intrigued many of the folks. Twice, questions brought us back to the slides where I demonstrated how we turned our Intranet into a bunch of blogs at SJCPL!

Here are my materials from the day:

PowerPoint (PDF) (6.6 MB!)

Evaluating LIS Weblogs (PDF)

Types of LIS Weblogs

Purdue Talk

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

The Front Line Blogger: Feel Good Librarian

Give this one a try:


a perfect example of what Schmidt and Stephens (2005) call "The Front Line Blogger." :-)

Posted by Michael at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2005

Greetings from the Bookstall at Purdue

I have just started my presentation! Watch for the handouts here soon!

Posted by Michael at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2005

Apple iPhoto Book - Made on a Mac

Apple iPhoto Book: London 2004

I made a book in the new version of Apple's iLife 05 iPhoto app of our October 2004 trip to England for Internet Librarian International. The page pictured above opens the book with a photo by my chum Rob Coers of me and my laptop at the keynote.

Take a look... it's incredible what this software and Apple's printers/binders can do!

Posted by Michael at 08:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Heading to Purdue University

Tomorrow afternoon I head down to Purdue University Libraries to present a little session on Blogs, RSS, Wikis and implications for libraries to some Purdue library folk!

Read about it here.

See you in the Bookstall!

Posted by Michael at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

RSS Synchronicity this AM

Nice bit of synchronicity. I e-mailed David King's new Computers in Libraries article (as a PDF) to some folks here at SJCPL to highlight how focusing on local content and offering RSS is effective in serving users.

Then, I log on to the Online Social Network Conference and find that one of the attendees has posted a link in the "Library Table" are:


"Libraries get hip to RSS" -- sorry if someone posted this last month and I missed it.

Posted by Michael at 09:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 15, 2005

That Local Flavor Please

This is a cross post from the Online Social Network Conference going on now:

One thing that has really impressed me is the use of subject-guide categories at Kansas City Public Library. Their site is full of pages that are often updated with local information and general interest stuff as well -- and many of the pages have specfiic RSS feeds.  

Take a look at:  



It's ingenious and I believe they hit on one of the strengths of creating an OSN for a community via the library: highlighting local information. Back in the day -- :-) -- librarians were all about creating "Web Guides" or subject lists. Now not only are folks going to Google first but bigger and better subject guides like the Librarian's Index to the Internet do it with ease. Library staff should not be putting in hours on something that's already in place -- unless it's building LOCAL portals and subject guides. That serves the users best, in my mind.  

Posted by Michael at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2005

TTW Podcast #2: Communicating Your Library's Message

Let's try again. I did some tweaks on my setup.

Tame the Web Podcast 2: Communicating your Library's Message


Call for Speakers for Public Library Track at IL 2005

Call for Speakers at Internet Librarian International

Communicating your Message - 8 Channels (PDF) (Originally developed with Lissa Krull 2003)

Please comment... or e-mail...

Posted by Michael at 06:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Unintended Consequence of Podcasting

I am sitting here this rainy cold Sunday in Northern Indiana trying to record the TTW Podcast #2. Here's my take on an unintended consequence: recording a podcast is also great prep for a presentation.... I have notes, some pages to refer to and my thoughts but it really helps to settle in and start talking -- to present the topic and see how it plays out as you record. It helps put ideas in place.

You get to hear yourself immediately as well-- eeek! Too many UMs and "wells" or weird sentences and I want to edit or rerecord.

Look for it soon....

Posted by Michael at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 11, 2005

Will Richardson's Teacher Blogger Guidelines

Via Weblogg-ed, one of my favorites in Net News Wire...

(I can't stand it...I'm reprinting them all here...)

For Teachers (Librarians), blogging at work:

"So, here's a short list. This is open-text, remember, so we can all play along.

1. Decide carefully if you want to create a public space for your ideas with your name on it. Maybe going anonymous would be better. There are a couple of great anonymous teacher blogs out there, Hipteacher among them.
2. When you write, assume it will be read by the very people you may not want to read it. Think about the consequences.
3. As much as possible, blog on your own time with your own equipment.
4. Tell the truth. If you can't, don't write.
5. Ask people's permission before you write about them in your blog, especially if it revolves around some struggle that you might feel worth reflecting upon or sharing with your audience.
6. If you do use a blog for professional reflection or opinion, my personal wish is that you take the time to present those ideas well. I'm not perfect when it comes to misspellings or errors, but I try to read everything at least twice if not three times before publishing.
7. Start simple, and find your groove. If you just post about news and don't add much in the way of commentary at the start, it will give you time to develop your voice.
8. Again, if you decide to blog openly, don't try to hide that fact from peers or supervisors.
9. If you think people may have an issue with your blog, ask first, and make your decisions based on the feedback you get.
10. If you find yourself looking over your shoulder, don't blog.

Posted by Michael at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IM Bookmark

Beatrice comments:

I'm a brand new librarian in a new job and getting giddy just reading this. I love the idea of the IM bookmark as a promotion. May we "borrow" this idea? My library is currently offering e/m and virtual ref, but virtual ref is sporadically active at best. I'm going to be talking to my colleagues today about trying chat reference (probably using Trillian); on any given day that I walk around the library I see students using databases, the web and one or two IM applications all at once. I'm hoping that we'll even reach those working from their dorm rooms.

This makes my heart warm. Beatrice - please borrow away! That's one of the beautiful things about all this library coolness around ... we borrow, change, grab inspiration and downright share all the time. Go for it! That goes for anyone that might be IMing and need some inspiration!

Posted by Michael at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Social Network Graphed: FlickrGraph

Via Weblogs in Education http://www.weblogg-ed.com/2005/02/10#a3121

I love the visual representation of who I'm connected to within flickr. Most cool.

Posted by Michael at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2005

Internet Librarian International


The Call for Proposals is up at http://www.internet-librarian.com/index.shtml

The 7th annual Internet Librarian International — the only conference for information professionals and librarians who are using, developing, and implementing internet, intranet, and web-based strategies in their daily work as information navigators, webmasters, web managers, content evaluators, internet strategists, portal creators, product developers, searchers, library managers, and educators — will be held Monday and Tuesday, 10-11 October, at a new venue for 2005 – London's Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington.

Internet Librarian International provides a stimulating forum for inquiring delegates and experienced speakers to explore the exciting range of issues and challenges that information professionals face today.

I presented last year...I blogged the experience here and returned to the United States with some inspiration and a much better view of the "big picture" facing the world's libraries.

If you have a prposal for a session -- GO FOR IT! If you can go as an attendee - don't miss this great conference in one of the world's most wonderful cities.

Posted by Michael at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Online Social Networks Conference has begun

The conference began yesterday with a bunch of folks from all over the world logging in, introducing themselves and pulling up a chair -- an avatar chair! Howard Rheingold, Joi Ito and Lisa Kimball did an audio keynote that was most cool to listen to:


Some points I made notes on: (and these are rough! Please listen to the 16min file!)

What do we call online social networks? Early on it was more social and less technology. These days it's focused more on the technology (blogs, wikis). Has the quality of social networking improved in the last 20 years?

Things are moving very quickly in the realm of online social networks -- new stuff such as blogs, wikis and social networking software. People are making new kinds of social arrangements.

Blogs create positive feedback but have negative feedback as well. Conversations can occur across blogs that can include or ignore people. How do we include folks adn exclude unwanted elements.

Presence: How do i become a part of an online community? How do we make people know we are here -- online -- and participating in communities? We share photos at flickr. We create anmd diseminate mutimedia content. We find new and different ways to let people know where we are. (SMS, etc)

The internet really improved the way OSS is diseminated... and now we are seeing similar improvements in create social environments for people to visit. We are now exchanging information, developing tools and interacting on a global level.

Messaging over mobile phones has changed social networks yet again... the behaviors of the social networks chanmge when folks can participate from anywhere.

I have been spending time in the meeting space and the presenters "Green Room" (which has a lovely green backgroiund :-) ) as well as loads of reading the introductions from various particpants.

Aaron and I present our work next week. I look forward to the interaction, questions and new avenues of thought that come from this experience!

Posted by Michael at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2005

The Podcast Media & OSS

I've been thinking about podcasts... dabbling a bit this week. One thing that is pretty darn cool is that some of this phenomenon/trend has roots in good old Open Source Software.

What is a podcast? Folks have been offering definitions. For example, PodcastAlley defines it, Webopedia does as well, and wikipedia has a great entry here:"A podcast is much like an audio magazine subscription: a subscriber receives regular audio programs delivered via the internet, and she or he can listen to them at her or his leisure."

For example, downloading Audacity is a good first step. Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems, according to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.

Then grab iPodder too at http://ipodder.sourceforge.net/index.php. iPodder, the site informs, "allows you to create your own custom online audio content from the thousands of audio sources on the web. It helps you select and download shows and music and to play whenever you want on your iPod, portable digital media player, or your computer. And it's all done automatically after you specify which music or shows you want."

iPodder's site takes donations but the software comes with an OS license and is based in PYTHON! The donation banner says this:" Donations will be transacted by Sourceforge, which hosts open source projects. Any donation will automatically tip Sourceforge for their service."

I'm still deciding folks...but I'm happy to see that the possibilities for libraries, librarians -- "citizen broadcasters", if you will -- are grounded in Open Source.

Posted by Michael at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Training/Promotional Opportunities (and Nudity!)

Never miss a chance to promote your library and its services -- even if you happen to be undressed! At the gym this am, a fellow asked me about wifi at SJCPL. I was glad to give him some info, invite him to any location to try it out and praised his use of a Macintosh PowerBook!

The other part of this story: I never miss a chance to talk tech.

In the all together, I settled into the whirlpool tub in our locker room after exercising. The fellow across from me (also in the all together) greets me and says "How do you like your iPod Shuffle?"

"Let me tell ya.." I say.


Posted by Michael at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2005

Roy Tennant Inspires

Here's that quote I alluded to in the TTW Podcast:

“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.”

Thank you, Roy Tennant.

Posted by Michael at 03:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2005

Welcome to the TTW Test Podcast

I pondered this for two weeks..and decided to give my technology here at the house a whirl to see if I could produce a podcast.


My topics:

Call for speakers for Internet Librarian 2005

A look at the tools/skills of the "Up to Date" librarian and a plea to "sieze the day"

Please let me know what you think. I'm still deciding if I like the format and how it might work in the LISBlogosphere.. Greg and Karen really inspred me.

And it was made entirely on a MAC!

Posted by Michael at 02:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

BLOG spells "Outreach to Patrons"

Please visit


to read about the SJCPL Lifeline in an interview with Joe Sipocz and myself.

Posted by Michael at 02:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Four Minute Movie on Podcasting

Lisa Williams explains it all!

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

Shifting Worlds Call for Speakers

Please note I am still looking for proposals for the Public Libraries and Technology Track at IL 2005!

Internet Librarian 2005: Shifting Worlds
Monterey, CA October 24-6, 2005   ***note the new dates!

Call for Speakers
It has been 10 years since the last major technological sea change when the Web rocked our world.  Not just the information world, but also those worlds at the very roots of our lives  the places and spaces where we work, learn and play.  All indications point to very dramatic and dynamic changes in the coming year.  Consider the recent announcements by Google that emphasize the new players in the information world.  It is more important than ever for information professionals to keep close tabs on the shifting worlds around us: the information landscape with its key and new players, new platforms and technologies, as well as new applications and strategies. 

Information Today Inc., a key provider of technology conferences for over twenty years, is pleased to announce the 9th annual Internet Librarian  the ONLY conference for information professionals who are using, developing, and embracing Internet, Intranet, and Web-based strategies in their roles as information architects and navigators, webmasters and web managers, content evaluators and developers, taxonomists, searchers, community builders, information providers, trainers, guides, and more. This comprehensive conference and exhibition offers a wide-ranging program designed to meet the needs of librarians, information managers, systems professionals, researchers, content managers and information specialists.

Internet Librarian 2005 caters to all interests and all levels of knowledge with four simultaneous tracks plus many workshop and networking opportunities. This year’s tracks encompass such topics as: Information Discovery & Search, Leading Edge Technologies, Managing Knowledge Assets, Web Tools, Intranets & Portals, eLearning & Training, Case Studies of Internet and Intranet Librarians, Web Development & Management, e-Resources & Digital Libraries, Blogging & Knowledge Exchange, Distance Learning & Instruction, Streaming Multimedia, Search Engines, Content Management and more. Speakers are knowledgeable, authoritative and focus on practical applications, new tools and techniques, case studies as well as technical and managerial issues. Please consider sending us a proposal to speak.

If you would like to participate in Internet Librarian 2005 as a speaker or workshop leader, please complete the submission form at:
or contact the Program Chair at the email address listed below as soon as possible (March 15, 2005 at the very latest). Include the following brief details of your proposed presentation: title, abstract, a few sentences of biographical information that relate to the topic, and full contact information (title, address, e-mail, phone & fax). All abstracts will be reviewed by the Organizing/Review Committee and notification regarding acceptance will be made in the summer.

Jane I. Dysart, Program Chair
Dysart & Jones Associates
phone: 416/484-6129
email: jane@dysartjones.com

To receive the registration and program brochure in the fall, or exhibit information please contact:
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055
phone: 609/654-6266
fax: 609/654-4309
email: custserv@infotoday.com
Web site: www.infotoday.co

Posted by Michael at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2005

Tech-Savvy Administrators

Oh Librarian in Black! You said it!

How?  Be involved on technology listservs.  Read the "tech" sections of library publications.  Read some good library technology weblogs or online publications.  That's where the good ideas have been coming form as of late.  Administrators don't have to know every little thing about technology, but at least (pleeeeeease) be familiar with it and discuss it with your staff.  If you don't, you are turning a blind eye to a huge area of librarianship.  And your staff will know.  Believe me.

Sarah also states that admin do not have to live and breathe tech but they should be able to carry on a conversation about trends and practices. I have met with a lot of librarians and more than once has someone taken me aside and said "How do I get my (director, boss, supervisor) to get this stuff?" That's the nice way of putting it. The other side, as I pointed out and Sarah agreed, are the librarians who joke about adminstrator X at the water cooler and the fact that he or she "can't even open an attachment in e-mail" It happens, as LIB wrote... "believe me."

Posted by Michael at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2005

Promoting IM Reference Services at SJCPL

This weekend at Science Alive! we'll be distributing a bookmark promoting out IM Reference service..and then the librarians will be visiting schools, etc to give them out. I am interested to see if the stats jump!

Want to see the full bookmark - download it here (883k)

Posted by Michael at 08:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 02, 2005

Training with the Branch Heads (Library Administrators Please Read)

I am a tech trainer librarian at heart folks. Probably always will be. Those moments of turning people on to new ways to get information or do their jobs when the "AHA" sparks in their eyes. Yes indeed.

Yesterday I did a 2 hour session for our branch librarians at the request of their supervisor -- the Coordinator of Extension Sevices at SJCPL who consistently rocks my world with her forward thinking and insight. She IMs. She reads a whole bunch of LIS Blogs via RSS and comments on posts with me time to time. She has an iPod! She uses FIREFOX!

Anyway, this time she requested a general "how to post to the library blog session" and an RSS session because she really wants her heads to be "in the know." Even if the librarians are not consistently posting to the SJCPL Lifeline, Nancy wanted them to undertsand the process and how it all works. (How many of you have had this encouragement and opportunity? Have you taken advantage of it if you have?)

We zipped through the blogging portion pretty quickly because they were quick to catch on. We went through some RSS basics and this time I demonstrated Bloglines. After they subscribed to a few feeds we had extra time, so I asked if they wanted to see a couple of other new things.

We took a look at flickr and I defined folksonomy for them and then, at Nancy's urging, we touched on podcasting. I showed them Greg's blog and podcasts and Karen's freeverse post. With the speakers up high in the training room, we played Karen's full podcast and used it as a discussion point: what is SJCPL doing with some of the TTTs? Did they know what bthey all were? What have the branch heads encountered in their libraries -- portable storage,etc.

What an incredible way to get people talking and pondering what a library might be doing or planning to do. Have a staff meeting coming up? Play that post and ask your librarians how they feel about the TTTs... what they know about...what they don't..

So the jist of this post is: Adminstrators: look for teaching/learning opportunities for your librarians and encourage them. Lead by example as well! A plugged-in, "in the know" adminstrator can really sell new technologies and plans to the staff. And don't be fooled -- if you are afraid of your computer - your staff knows it! Keep on top of the Top Technology trends and look for cool ways to illustrate them and educate your staff - Thanks for the inspiration Karen!

Posted by Michael at 09:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 01, 2005

SJCPL IM Stats (Updated)

Maire informs me that we have had 75 Instant Message reference transactions here at SJCPL fomr September 2004 to January 2005 -- no too shabby considering we have not publicized the ASK SJCPL Service at all -- no cards, no bookmarks, etc... just this page.

For a detailed examination, click here: http://www.skagirlie.net/wpblog/index.php?p=142

Posted by Michael at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

For your listening pleasure

Karen's Podcast : http://freerangelibrarian.com/archives/020105/podcasting_test.php

I love this post! It includes a wonderful list of TTT's that sound much like poetry...check it out!

Greg's 2nd Podcast: http://openstacks.net/os/os_podcast_2.mp3

Well done... open source theme music, user audio comments and a look at what podcasting is!

Greg says: "We are creating audio content..and syndicating it.."

I totally get how syndicating audio content for a library could provide dynamic content... check it out and ponder!

Posted by Michael at 12:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack