March 31, 2005

iPod Camera Connector

IPod Photo Camera Connector

Here's a Flickr Set

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Playing with Jybe

SJCPLskagirlie is playing with Jybe with one of our Nextgen libs.

Neat stuff. Think of the learning opportunities for a librarian, a user and a learner to co-browse a few sites.

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The Importance of Wikis in the Library

Will Richardson spoke about Wikis @ Your Library and it was one of my most anticipated sessions. I am currently working a s a Research assistant for UNT to set up a wiki for the Info Science Doc students to build our own spot of collaborative discusions, entries and data. (I am sorry I haven't written much about my studies this semester...a lot has been happening!)

Will said a Wiki is a difficult thing to define. But he did an excellent job: "Sometimes chaotic, sometimes amazing tool to create collaborative content on the Internet. A wiki is something anyone can edit at anytime. A tool of the read/write Web." (I love that term!)

He noted the huge increase in Podcasting (6 months ago from 1 to 4000 podcasts) and Photo blogging. "The everyday creation of content by everyday people."

Why wikis at your library?

Easy creation
Small elarning curve
Easy collaboration
Easy information storage
Easy retrieval
Easy tracking

Keys to Success:

Effective structure
Monitioring content
Consistency with names of pages
Active participation


I've been pondering wiki use in libraries since Will's talk.

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March 30, 2005

Overheard from Across our Workroom

"If you can can wiki."

I'm tingling!

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Bedside Table Reading

What's on my bedside table you ask? (well...maybe you didn't but I'll tell you anyway!)

A few weeks of Entertainment Weekly: Gotta stay in tune with pop culture, yes?

2003 OCLC Enviromental Scan: Pattern Recognition: I can't say enough about this one. This report to the OCLC membership includes a look at the social, technology, economic and library landscape as well as future trends for libraries, a focus on content, and much much more. Just the Glossary and Readings List are worth the $16 it cost for it to be shipped to my door.

The volume includes a section on major trends in the library landscape. I kid you not: these are the things adminstarors, reference librarians and IT folks need to know about as they set to planning the future of their organizations.

Key terms? Collaboration...New Roles...Accountability...

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Scott Brandt is Too Sexy

CIL 2005 Dead Tech Panel
David King has remixed Scott's rap from the Dead Tech session at CIL2005 and I've already loaded it on my iPod Shuffle!

Don't miss this one... maybe Greg can get Scott to do an unplugged version on Open Stacks!

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March 29, 2005

IM solving VR Woes

Good stuff here:

So here are some of the pros and cons (for our particular situation), and my general questions . . .

it's saves several thousands of dollars a year – it's free!
it works – bonus!
no messy setup or clunky interfaces; uses a medium that many/most students are already familiar with
ability to create customized 'queues' per subject or librarian for things like subject pages (simply create an appropriate and different screen name for that purpose), which with VR software can cost around $3000 per librarian
it's 'disposable': one thing that really bothers me about our current system is that all questions and transcripts are kept for three months, and in terms of privacy issues, we have no control over that

much more challenging to keep statistics
lose the ability to refer and track email questions (a component of our VR software) among numerous subject librarians

I think the stats issue could be handled without too much muss and fuss for most libraries. A database could be set up on the IM computer and each questions could be entered and cataegorized: reference, informational, etc. Then you'd have some good stats to pull out.

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Yahoo! 360' - Thanks Robin!

Thanks to Robin!!!

So I set "My Page" up real quick and will return to mess with the features soon. Right now I use flickr, Audio Scrobbler, etc... will these sites or sites like them be absorbed into virtual community clearinghouse. Is Yahoo! 360' the next stop for Flickr? (I think it will be - "Share Photos" was all over in 360')

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Yahoo 360'

Anyone joined Yahoo! 360'? I'm intrigued by yet another virtual community being offered for folks. If you are in and have an invite, I'd be grateful!

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March 28, 2005

Read This... Feel Good Librarian

VIa Skagirlie, who rules as a presenter about IM,

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March 26, 2005

TTW Unplugged


Good Morning! For almost 2 weeks I have been busy- in DC for CIL 2005, downstate for Indiana Library Federation, teaching at IUSB and doing some online collaboration. Today, however, I'm hitting the road for Traverse City to see how things are going Up North. See you in a couple of days!

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March 25, 2005

Apple Flip Mini Books from iPhoto Rule!

Flip Book from iPhoto

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Hey! Libraries circulating Shuffles!

Apple is selling these now:

iPod Shuffle Case from Apple

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Another Nail in the VR Coffin?


Even as I post this, David King, Chad and Blake and I are co-browsing the Web! We all downloaded and installed JYBE and joined the same session. Suddenly, we were watching as David took us around the KCPL site! There is a built in chat room at the bottom of the page! We were chatting within the browser! WOWZA! Thanks to the fellow who posed the question to Aaron and I at our CIL IM presentation: "Have you tried Jybe?" And thanks to Chris Jowaisis who told me about it when it launched in January.

Think of the implications for virtual reference without bloated software!


We were able to surf together. I loaded up Indiana's access to EBSCOHOST and we searched together, found an article and downloaded. Everyone got a copy!

Blake said: "I never want to browse alone again."

My mind reels....

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March 24, 2005

The 2nd Cohort Begins this Summer

Summer 2005 IMLS Distance Ph.D. Program in Library Science:

School Library Division:
Douglas Achterman
Gayle Bogel
Vivian Cisneros
Richard Hasenyager
Wendy Stephens

Public Library Division:
Shannon Bomar
Sara Jones
Brian Kenney
Jeanne Puacz
David Scott

Congrats to all!!

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Podcast + Shuffle = HOT HOT HOT

That shufflecasting is hot right now friends...

I am chatting for a minute with Chris (who sent this) and he just told me the coolest thing:

Chris: "We want to offer audiobooks on iPod to the public, but along with them we would attach the library's monthly podcast of library happenings, book reviews, music, movies, etc."

Me: "Chris, that's HOT HOT HOT!"

Chris: "Yeah."

Posted by Michael at 01:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TTW Mailbox: Chelmsford Public Library Uses iTunes!

Hi Michael,

We've been using iTunes here in the Chelmsford Public Library for over two years, since version 3 of iTunes. We run two iMac kiosks in the main library, one near the CD's and one for the Young Adult area and then a standalone eMac in our branch library. The main library kiosks tap into an MP3 server in my office. I purchase the CD's and rip everything I buy to MP3. Since there's actually only one MP3 around, I think I'm within our legal rights. I'm probably going to expand the iTunes idea to the PC's in the YA section soon, now that I've got a VBScript to search our iPac.

Anyway, here's a link to my weblog with some more info about what we do.

I just started it a week or so ago, so it's meager, but you might get a kick out of the iTunes scripts for download. I'm glad to see you're a fellow mac user. We're few and far between in public libraries.

I'll write some stuff soon on my blog about what else I do with the Mac at our library, so check in now and then.

Christopher Kupec
Assistant Director

Chelmsford Public Library
25 Boston Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824

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Syndicate, Aggregate, Communicate: New Web Tools in Real Applications for Libraries, Companies and Regular Folk

Syndicate, Aggregate, Communicate:
New Web Tools in Real Applications for Libraries, Companies and Regular Folk

Tuesday, 3 May 2005, 9am-4pm
Feinstein 400, Providence College, Providence, RI

The Tools We Hear About : Blogs, Wikis, RSS, Instant Messenging (IM), Chat, Browser add-ons, Bookmarklets, Folksonomies

The Questions We Ask Ourselves : How and when do these tools work together? How can I use them in my environment? How do I convince my boss that they are worth implementing? 2005 opens with an avalanche of new and maturing technologies. Free tools currently available can be configured and integrated to radically improve communication and simplify information retrieval, storage and sharing. These technologies, however, are currently being developed and presented incrementally and individually, and it is up to the user to keep track, download, install, configure, integrate, learn and determine which combinations will best serve a given individual, project, or organization.

NEASIST is pleased to present another timely event designed to make sense of this frenzy of technology and turn the chaos into practical tools for harnessing information and connecting people. Three recognized, early-adopter, information specialists have been exploring and experimenting with these tools in different environments. They will be sharing examples of how you can use these tools for:

Personal Information Management

Internal Staff or Project Communication

Web site Content Development

Making your Content Findable on the Internet at large

Individual presentations and a panel session will include case studies and techniques for enlightening others about the diverse value and application of social software and information management tools.

Megan Fox
Web & Electronic Resources Librarian, Simmons College (Boston, MA)
Adjunct Professor, Simmons College
Courses include: “Online Information Resources” and “A Taste of New Technologies”

Jenny Levine
Internet Development Specialist, Metropolitan Library System (Chicago, IL)
Author, “The Shifted Librarian”

Michael Stephens
Special Projects Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library (South Bend, IN)
Author, “Tame the Web: Technology & Libraries”

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March 23, 2005

Question posed to Indiana Librarians today

A user walks into your library with a 40GB iPod intent on downloading all the PDFs needed for a research reprt, can he or she do that in your library?

Posted by Michael at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TTW Meets Michael Gorman


(Shaking hands)

Me: Mr. Gorman, I'm Michael Stephens. I write the Tame the Web Blog for Libraries and technology. I wrote a response to your piece, I hope you got to read it or will.

Gorman: Ahh, some of those people were so thin-skinned. I hope you're not.

Me: No, sir, I am not thin-skinned. Thank you. Nice to meet you. Take a look at my blog sometime.

Marydee blogs Gorman's talk here:

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Gearing Up for Another Presentation

I'm about to do my "Technolust/Planning" talk here in Indianapolis..

Posted by Michael at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In Indianapolis for Indiana Library Federation

More CIL to come but right now I'm languishing in my suite at the Embassy -- Embassy Suites Indianapolis!

Today: Two presentations for Hoosier librarians on IM and Optimizing Tech. And a chance to meet Michael Gorman who is keynoting??

Posted by Michael at 07:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ann Arbor District Library Responds to Blogger

Via Jessamyn:

How geeked am I that this gets me going:

Rest assured that useful, flexible, and broad RSS support is a major
design goal of our new website, and we hope our feeds will find good homes in aggregators throughout the district... and beyond! Watch for the new coming in early July [2005].

Posted by Michael at 06:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

"Less focused on me" - Blake's Wrap Up

Please read Blake's wrap up and pay special attention to the last bit that I quote here:

The “core Bloggers” thing was surprisingly divisive at the conference and apparently outside as well. As Bloggers (Core or not, I was not) I think we need to talk about what we do and look at how we do things more and talk about ourselves less. What was being done from the conference was a great beginning, an amazing 1.0 of conference blogging.. Let’s look at how we did things and look for the next step. Stephen Abram said something about the Sirsi sales crew working the booth being in “today” and being VP of Innovation, his job was to be in 10 years from now, and I hope a blogger will take the lead on being the VP of Innovation for the LIS Core Bloggers. Let’s begin by asking some big questions. How do we work together, how do we improve what we write, can we do some real reporting and is what we do fit for print, or would anyone want to read what we do in print. As Andrea would say, we need to be more meta, less focused on “me”, and more focused on “us” and what we can really do for each other and our profession. How do we move beyond what we do now and into something else?

Well said Blake! What will future conference blogging experiences be like?

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March 21, 2005

IM Presentation

Aaron just put it up over at!

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UNT Program wins Poster Session at ALISE

Take a look:

Here's Mike Pullin and Dr O'Connor with their most cool poster:

Posted by Michael at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OSS & Schools

Take a look a report of Joyce Valenza's piece about OSS and schools. Joyce and I are in school together. Her work for school libraries and internet skills blows me away!

The terms open source and free software are associated with the same revolution. Folks who use the term free software use it philosophically to emphasize the importance of freedom from reliance on one vendor, freedom to see the source, freedom from complicated licensing, freedom from forced upgrades, freedom associated with greater software reliability, and the free support of the online community. A great dialogue is under way, with software developers working in communities to promote the greater good through their exchange of knowledge.

Via Digital Divide.

Posted by Michael at 08:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2005

Hidden Peanuts meets TTW

CIL 2005 from TTW

Chad has posted final thoughts...

Nice to meet you Chad!

Posted by Michael at 08:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Skagirlie Sums up CIL05

Oh! And she's the one that gave me the shirt ~ Thanks Skagirlie!! Glad you were at CIL!

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Techman & TTW

CIL 2005 from TTW

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After 3 workshops, two presentations and going to a bunch of great sessions as well as hanging with amd meeting some very cool library folk ..I'm home with my boys. And I'm exhausted. I'll be posting notes and thoughts tomorrow. I hope all CIL 2005 attendees, bloggers, presenters, vendors and organizers are home safe and sound!

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March 19, 2005

Greetings from Blogging Workshop

We are doing a live demonstration of Weblogging for Organizations!!

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March 18, 2005

Will Richardson Blogs

I had the honor of meeting Will Richardson Thursday! Here's his post about his travels and teaching:

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Tryst in Adams Morgan


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Implications of Podcasting in Library Land


Implications of Podcasting in Library Land

In the first two days of CIL, I heard the term "podcasting" in a few sessions, including the "Dead Tech" session. I guess, then, that "podcasting" is sooooo hot right now. With that, I thinkl we need to put some thought into what might happen as libraries jump on the syndicated audio (and video bandwagon). I'm all for adding media to a library's presence, but I also see the need to plan and ponder how the creation of audio content might impact our work:

Have a visiting author? Will guest speakers sign off on a "podcast clause" when visiting libraries? Or agree to be interviewed for a library's feed? This is marketing for your library and publicity for the person involved so they will probably be tickled to do it. However, make sure that your "interviewer" is skilled in asking questions and has time to put together a brief intro and set of questions.

For a library to produce audio content monthly? weekly? there will need to be a serious investment in time and staff. It must be a priority! A podcast created by staff should probably be reviewed by the marketing point person to insure it meets the standards that SHOULD HAVE BEEN SET UP for all library promotional materials. This is not just the duty of IT staff.

What of podcasting conferences? It's one thing to blog from your seat in the presentation room. It is certainly another to record conference content. here at CIL, Greg has been recording content and asking folks to record "promos" for his podcast, or "the show" as he calls it. To actually syndicate program content, however, there are legalities involved.

Key Factors for the Podcasting Libraries:

What will be your ROI? Loads of downloads, feedback from users, or some other method?

What equipment do you need -- or already have? A PC, microphone, software, etc. where will the recording be done? Not in a busy workroom for sure!

Audio content should be created with the same guildelines as text-based content. Follow your style guide for how you might say your library's name or similar.

How will you promote your cast? On the Web? Usual media outlets?

Who does it? What staff?

A tip: if you have a librarian that is into such things as music, recording music, audio, etc you may want to talk to them about being point person / project person for the podcasts. These skills carry over. Got a librarian who used to work in radio? Grab them for sure?

Posted by Michael at 12:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Social Software Track

I was very lucky to participate in the Social Software track yesterday. I spoke with Aaron on IM and collaboration in libraries -- which was a lot of fun!

K. Matthew Dames opened the track, and also moderated with Steven M. Cohen. Dames explored Social Software 101.

Take a look at his presentation. There is some good stuff there, including:social software is tools used for effective collaboration and efficient work flow; social networking is an analysis of the relationships of individuals and how they are connected to each other and Dames likes the term "digital collaboration" -- as do I!

I must tell you that Aaron and I did much of our work for this conference via IM, email, video chat and 2 "face to face" meetings. We used tools that allowed us -- a librarian living in Northern Indiana and a librarian living in the Chicago suburbs -- to create content for presentation here.

Dames pondered: What are key directions for libraries? And answered with : Blogs may ultimately replace HTML websites. I get that. Not only is it easy, but utilizing blogs can be most cost effective and time-saving. Dames also said there will be more blogs used as a project management tool. I get that too.

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

CBS MarketWatch Coverage that Means a lot to Me

Via Rochelle at LISNews (Blake, you rule!):

Librarians' words to Ponder

The keepers of old-school information, librarians, are gathering in Washington this week at a conference titled "Computers in Libraries."

The chatter on panels and in receptions about the Internet, and the several live blogs covering the event, clearly show that librarians are anything but introverted and low-tech, as stereotypes would have it.

Cliff Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, keynoted the meeting with this provocative comment: "When everyone can own a computer and enjoy a fast connection, then everyone can become a broadcaster and publisher."

I appreciate the "breaking the stereotype" bit and the fact that they linked to the ITI blog. Lynch's comments about everyday people becoming publishers and content providers speaks volumes for the future of libraries and digital information.

Posted by Michael at 06:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 17, 2005

Optimizing Technology in Public Libraries

Here's my presentation:

Tech Planning in Libraries

We had a snafu yesterday in my presentation. The PPT slides in the proceedings were put in the Workshop section -- because I also taught a workshop with a similar name this week. Sorry for the confusion.

AND: Here's the book I spoke about:

How Libraries And Librarians Help: A Guide To Identifying User-Centered Outcomes

Amazon link

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10 Things I've Learned Presenting at Library Conferences

Andrea posted some great tips...and I was reminded of these:

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CIL Dead Tech Panel Group @ Flickr

CIL 2005 Dead Tech Panel

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Will Richardson is Busy!

BUSY!...but I can't wait to hear his talk on wikis this morning!

Posted by Michael at 07:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That Appcasting is so hot right now

Wonderful moment of synchronicity here in the Hilton Honors lounge this am while I enjoy a breakfast tea and some wifi. Last night at Dead tech, I heard a new term - appcasting.

This morning, I search to update my Mac's flickr plugin for iPhoto and I find the flickr export appcast:


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March 16, 2005

Post "Dead Tech": Sushi and Discussion


Nice evening...great Dead Tech Session! I'll be posting images tomorrow.

After, Aaron, David King and I stepped out for some Miso, Sushi and some darn good conversation about library IT departments, the academic library, implications of podcasts and videocasts and all things in between.

One thing that impressed me today about the actual impact of blogging on the library profession is that David used a blog post as a talking point during his first session about targeting web services and statistics.

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3 Classes I Wish I Could Teach At My Library (But Can’t):

Aaron's | Jessamyn |Rose Read

Classes I Wish I Could Teach At My Library (But Can’t):

Music for the Masses: This workshop will teach partipants how to mount their entire music collections for sharing on the Peer to Peer networks. Best practices, innovative tips and legal advice if you're busted round out a dynamic two hours in the library training room. Requirements: 1 Terrabyte firewire Hard Drive and a $200 legal retainer fee.

Camcorder Cinema 101: Join us for a field trip to a showing of Return of the Sith! We'll provide a sheet of handy tips on making the best recording, the bus, popcorn, beverages and a ticket. Requirements: blank tapes, the coat with the big hidden pocket, a $200 legal retainer fee.

Hooked Up on the Web: The ins and out of the dating sites and those Web sites that specialize in "Ordering In." We'll cover the lingo, precautions and how not to get burned. Requirements: Face pic before private chat.

Posted by Michael at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

5 Implications for the Teaching/Training Librarian

I enjoyed Clifford Lynch's reflection and pondering the future keynote this morning. He detailed the past 20 years for the Computers in Libraries Conference (back in the 80s known as Small Computers in Libraries) and hit on some of the big changes or events of those times.

In the early 80s it was the advent of the electronic card catalog and libraries jumping in and doing conversions. Then, Lynch reported, librarians embraced the Internet and assumed the role of "teacher" from roughly 1992 - 1998. When he said that I remembered the glory days of our first public Internet classes at SJCPL: We offered a 90-minute lecture and demo and repeatedly for many months packed the house. In fact, one night we had 128 people attend in our largest meeting room. Back then, folks were starving for information about what was happening on the Internet and how they might get access at the library.

Then, however, Lynch said, "The teaching role has went away."

Here's where I beg to differ. I found Lynch totally engaging and right on but I think there are a few things to be said about the teaching librarian. In fact, I think there are 5 things to say about the future of teaching librarians as I relax here in my room at the Hilton Washington:

* As long as there are public libraries and folks that use them, there will be a need for librarians to show folks how to get to information -- good information. Mind you, this may be virtually, via a sound recording on an iPod, via IM or in person. There will always be some sort of "classes" at the library. For example, some folks will need help getting e-mail because they don't have a computer at home. I don't see that going away anytime soon. Stephen Abram said in his Library Journal piece about Google "Vastly more information is used outside the library than in libraries—and most of it is now virtual. Recognize that librarians' and library workers' key contributions aren't merely collecting, organizing, and delivering the information—it's improving the quality of the question." That says to me it's all about education!

* Librarians of the blended variety will also be needed in the academic setting. BI will be around as long as there are new interfaces and new database products. Again, the delivery methods may change but we will still be offering instruction out of academic libraries. Take a look at for more.

* One goal of many libraries is to offer access to new technologies. Aaron believes this and so do I. As long as there is new tech - iPods, digital video, wifi, RFID and future implications of digital media -- there will be a need for the librarian.

* In the corporate library, the needs for resources may change and electronic resources management may reign supreme (in all types of libraries too!) so someone will have to corral all of this stuff and tell people how to get to it.

* Lynch also said that the world has moved from a “scarcity of information” to an abundance in 2005. And that means someone skilled in instructional design, styles of learning and delivering training will have to be around to make sure people know how to look for it and use it.

Posted by Michael at 11:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pondering the ROI


Aaron and I presented a workshop Tuesday devoted to implementing a plan for new technologies in libraries. We discussed planning, seeing the big picture, various nuances of some hot tech and the ROI on technologies in libraries.

Be aware: not only do you have to buy the tech and implment, you have to staff, create policy, promte and train to get it going!

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Blog People in Action


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Bloggers' Lunch

Blake, David, Greg & Chad

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Future Minded (Updated)

Aaron 2
Taking a break after teaching a Tech Planning workshop at CIL, Aaron Schmidt catches up on some Texting.

Congrats to my chum Aaron Schmidt on his inclusion in the 2005 Library Journal Movers & Shakers lineup as a Reference Visionary.

Aaron gets it: "Schmidt wants to help librarians understand the environment within which libraries must compete, including the commercial web. If we understand what our users get from those realms, and apply those lessons, libraries will have a future."

And now I'm pondering Aaron and realizing he exemplifies the future librarians who will be running the show in 30 years! Forward thinking, not afraid of change and ready to take on the world... Rock On!

Don't miss his "Dead Tech" talk tonight at Computers in Libraries!

Posted by Michael at 07:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

David Free on Podcasting for his Library

Here's an e-mail comment I received from David Free a Reference Librarian
at Georgia Perimeter College - Decatur Campus in Decatur, GA. He said I could reproduce it here because I think it's an excellent example of how libraries might syndicate useful audio content that markets services, etc.

Thansk David!

Greetings. Well, I've been experimenting with podcasting for the last month
or so. I've done 3 so far, mostly pretty basic versions of the library news I post
on our campus library blog: events, services, new books. I'm doing these about
every 2 weeks or so. They're each about 12 mins long.

I'm looking at doing something fairly different with it though. My college
is a multicampus 2 year school, so what I've been doing is specific to my campus. But I've been talking with a colleague on another campus who is familiar with podasting about trying to do a library system-wide (4 campuses) monthly-ish radio show type podcast. We're going to set up a seperate blog just for this podcastand do one as a test to see how it goes and look at the level of interest. We're looking at this being a 30 minute or so show thing where we play Creative Commons licensed music between library related segments. These could be services, new database products, events/displays in various campus libraries, book reviews, interviews with authors/ librarians/ other campus folks or whatever. The idea for this came from a vague memory of reading about some libarians doing a show on a campus radio station.

Hopefully we can recruit other librarians to contribute audio segments or at
least written stuff that I could read. It may take some time to get going,
but it could be a really cool collaborative project to market the libraries.
There should be a demo version of this in the next couple of weeks, which
I'll be glad to share.

Good stuff folks!

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March 15, 2005

Afternoon Workshop

Workshop 2

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Press Pass!


Cohen arranged for the bloggers highlighted on the ITI blog site to get green press ribbons. I was all aflutter!

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March 14, 2005

Should be standard issue for all bloggers at CIL


(Thanks Joyce!)

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CIL Blogdigger

This link aggregates many of the folks blogging CIL. I'm tickled to see Hidden Peanuts on the list! Welcome to CIL Chad!

Posted by Michael at 01:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Welcome to Washington DC

Waiting for my room

I had a safe and unenventful trip and now I'm camped in the bar at the Hilton waiting for my room. Checking my aggregator, I see folks are posting about the conference. It is good to be here!

(and it amazes me this is my sixth CIL!)

See you in the workshops, sessions, exhibits and around Dupont Circle!

Posted by Michael at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2005

PLA Symposium: Lead by Example: Work, Change, Self & Others

Lead by Example: Work, Change, Self & Others

Al Gini, Loyola University Chicago, author of "The Importance of Being Lazy" spent a lively session discussing how to better manage our lives: on and off the job beacuse so few of us are happy with work. He illustrated points with numerous Dilbert cartoonms featuring the evil head of Human Resources and the unfortunate employees who encounter "Catbert." Gini pointed out that happy staff must experience the four Rs of working: Recognition, Respect, Relationship and Rewards from supervisors and colleagues.

Dealing with change is a concern, he stressed. Librarians sometimes resist change because of a fear of innovation, thier own personal habits, social customs, peer pressure and fear of leaving their comfort zones.

He also gave a gentle reminder to the room that the MLS they received is not the MLS new library school gradutes are getting as well as stressing the importance of technology to today's library professional. "If you got your MLS more than 15 years ago, the program is much different," he said. The first thing you'd do if you went back was to get a laptop. "This is your laptop, learn to love it."

To reinvent your job and yourself, Gini urged the librarians to seek out learning opportunities, get a mentor or be a mentor, attend seminars, attend classes, conferences, and make yourself more marketable in the profession, without losing sight of our passions. "It's about loving what you do and doing what you love."

Note from MS:

It was interesting for me to compare the 6 hours I spent in workshops with Stephen Abram to Gini's session. I must admit when I saw he was using an overhead projector and transperancies, I clucked. BUT he was engaging, on the money and got the whole idea of PEOPLE being a library's number one resource. He also got the idea that all librarians must embrace technology: "Here's a laptop, learn to love it!" NICE!

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Happy Birthday Jake -- 11 years old today

Happy Birthday Jake -- 11 years old today

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TTW Meets ITI for CIL

I'm happy to report that TTW is one of the blogs listed at the Information Today Blog for the Computers in Libraries conference, which ITI's Tom Hogan Jr., VP of Marketing & Business Development says could be the highest attended in 5 years.

I leave out of South Bend at 6am tomorrow! See you there....

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March 12, 2005

Conference Bags!

Library Conference Bags

Wow! I just got to thinking about 5 trips to CIL and 3 to IL, as well as ALA annual, ILI and PLA... you can really collect a lot of bags!

Library Conference Bags

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March 11, 2005

Marketing your Library on the Web

Marketing your Library on the Web : IOLUG Spring Program

Hamilton East Public Library
5 Municipal Drive, Fishers, IN
9:45 am – 3:45 pm
May 20, 2005

Keynote Speaker:  Glenn Peterson, Web Administrator, Hennepin Public Library, Minneapolis, MN

Breakout Sessions in the Afternoon:
Creating a Library Portal – Susan Metcalf & Joanne Artz, University of Southern Indiana
Web Marketing and a Special Library – Donnett Ekwerike, Eli Lilly Library
Ten Steps to Effective Web Presence – Michael Stephens, St. Joseph County Public Library
Revamping an Academic Library Web Site – Eric Morgan, University of Notre Dame

Go to for more information and to sign-up!

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David King on Computers in Libraries 2005

You know I'm all about numbered lists! An even BETTER list of things to do! :

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Open Stacks & TTW Podcast

I was interviewed last night by Greg Schwartz concerning the upcoming Computers in Libraries conference. Have a listen:

My part was "Made on a Mac!" :-)

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March 10, 2005

Blogging Policies and Rewards

Via Stephen, Steven and Stephens:

4. No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.

Well said. One thing that came up in conversation with Mr. Abram at PLA is that a blogger can have a voice in the LIS blogosphere from the smallest, most remote library in the world and still reach a huge audience if they are putting their blogging presence out there. This, to me, insures we get original voices. Original thoughts. And best practices to try out in our own orgainzations.

I like this positive spin of getting employers and emplyees to talk about blogging, its impact on work and the "story" a librarian's blog tells. Nice.

Nice directory of LIS Weblogs to add to the mix.

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March 09, 2005



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iPods in the Library!

iPod Photo: Panel

Are you doing something with iPods in your library? E-mail please at mstephens7 (at)!

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PLA Symposium at flickr

Opening sessionOZPowerbooks at PLAAbram

PLA Symposioum images by MS

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"Stupid People"

Abram Slide - Gorman

Abram said: "that's a young Michael Gorman."

I LOLed!

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Speaking of Stories

...which was a thread that wound through much of our discussion here at PLA. Don't miss: How Libraries And Librarians Help: A Guide To Identifying User-Centered Outcomes

Amazon link

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Abram on Millennial Users

Note from MS: I have distributed copies of "Born With the Chip" to the managers and admin on retreat at SJCPL, discussed it with my classes at IUSB as well as with the cohorty at UNT. This talk expanded the concepts, made a room full of people think about their services and provided some great conversation over dinner last night!

Download the Article Here! Or display the article at Library Journal here.

Millennial Users: Different? You Bet!

Stephen Abram, March 8, 2005, Palmer House Hotel - PLA Symposium

"We are looking for leadership outside of librarianship when we should be looking for it inside the profession."

The trouble with most organization's responses to turbulent times is that they tend to overmanage and underlead.

We are about to get hit with a huge wave of innovation: we are way behind the rest of the world. Just look to the Pacific Rim.

Building Blocks:

What are libraries worried about:

Millennial User behaviours
Diversity - e.g. Parkdale PL in Toronto reflects the community it serves
E-learning and Distance Education
Justifying growth and projects - Measures not Stats
Understanding mutating (not changing) usage patterns - info not data
Building community alliance but bringing gravitas to the table
Building for the future and not repairing the present
Productivity and shifting staff resources

Looking at our Users:

Information Engagement Levels: Dr. Thomas Davenport

Learning Styles


-Piaget, Bloom, Gardner, etc.

How are we designing our web presence for each of these types of learners?

How is the reference interview conducted virtually?

"If you are looking to align your services with a technology that is actually being used, look at iPods."

Welsh word: place where all my knowledge comes -- Cynefin

"Inflection Point" - when things shift


Born 1978-1994
Ages 9 to 25
If you haven't yet, download the article here!

The Millennials are/have:

Confident: they know what the want and how it should be delivered
High Expectations: will have a as good a life as when they grew up, they want it to be easy and they want it now
More Choices - Millennials are brand loyal
More Diverse
Healthy Lifestyle
More Friends - 120 IM messages! 3000 names on a buddy list
Internet Natives
Gamers: Mark Prensky "Use Their Tools Speak Their Language"
Collaborative - Your IM buddy list is people you TRUST, are there teachers in it? Librarians?
Format Agnostic

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March 08, 2005

PLA: Finding OZ: Discovering a Bright Future for Libraries


Slides will be on Abram's Web site at SIRSI where he will also be launching a blog!

Stephen Abram, Monday March 7, Palmer House Hilton

"Favorite thing is to figure out where users, libraries and our communities are going to be..."

Some building blocks of info:

Florida study from Midwinter: ROI on library services in the state

Free=Unfettered Access: Shame on us for not allowing walk in users

Why are we using these technologies? How do we transform our users with them?

How does one person persuade many?

Charts? Rational Argument? Dialogue?

Storytelling? = HIGH efficacy

For more:

Stories can...change organizations!

Abram's CEO "The best way to discover the future is to invent it."

DON"T MISS: googlezon

"You can always tell the culture of the library by how high and how thick the reference desk is."

Some Innovations:

Google Scholar Toolbar for Firefox

Picasa offers photo storage online

Toolbars: OCLC, Google,

Google Local: Every business in your community mapped out -- is your library listed? (Is SJCPL in Google Local?)

How and Why questions are the ones that are important

Google gets questions in two hours equal to all the libraries and all the reference departments in 2.5 years

So what do we do?

Reinvent the Librarian

Virtual Reference: is not the perfect solution yet but if you got on the bandwagon early you are better off. It improves ref work because you get a transcript of every transaction. Then you can evaluate them.

IM: Aaron Schmidt is reaching Millennial users with IM at his library.

Know Your Market

Normative Data Project

PL world should look at the data and use it for planning. Look at the way humans are behaving: gather stories

Rethink the Repository

What areas/users do your collections serve?

Push stuff to them when they want it: RSS! Get on the Wagon Early! SIRSI does it from the ILS.

Federated Identity Managaement

RFID - Not ready for Prime Time, meant to be used once not circulated.
Biometrics - Fingerprints as library card (Buffalo/Erie County PL)
Smartrcards - card with a chip, stripe, barcode and image
U of Toronto and ADA - Access to DBs for folks that are blind, etc.

Libraries circulating iPods with books on them. These first few libraries will learn how this works.

Invent Targeted Search

Teaching users to know WHERE to search as well as HOW to search.

Lead the Wireless Revolution

Offer wifi...look for that mi=unicipal dome of free wifi in the future!

How does your library's website look on a Treo 650?

What homepage do your wireless users get when they access your wifi network?

Get into the Community

BLOG! Blog all of your announcements!

Kids blog...Teens blog... feed out RSS for all!

RSS: The other side of push. Get clubs and other local websites to stream RSS feeds from your catalog on their pages. Be relevant in your community!!! This can be "one of our biggest opportunities in wedding ourselves and being relevant in our communities."

Make the Library Discoverable

Search Engine Optimization:

Your library should be on the top page. Use keywords, tags etc.

Toolbars! Harris County Public Library

Build Context First

Usability vs., Satisfaction
Real Needs
Transactions and Transformations

Don't just measure statitics -- measure IMPACT!

Next wave: by 2006

Broadband across the US
Low-Power Consumption mobile display devoice
Real time infrastuructrure
Transition to service oriented architecture


Connected Society
Connected Objects and Places
Connected Enterprises

This was an incredible talk. The audienece of over 200 was engaged for over 3 hours!

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Greetings from the Palmer House!

Greetings from PLA Symposium! I have no connection in the meeting rooms but I am making notes to post here. Yesterday I spent 3 hours with 200 librarians listening to Stephen Abram's talk "Finding Oz." It was incredible.

Jenny wrote: Also, I've decided that Stephen Abram is the library world’s Jeff Jarvis. He “gets” everything - the whole enchilada – and he’s incredibly good at articulating it! When Stephen talks, you’d better listen!

I wholeheartedly agree. I wrote on my evaluation that every PLA member should hear Abram's message. This is the future folks...get ready!

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March 06, 2005

Still Hearting Flickr (and the License Plate Maker at

I Copied LibraryMan


Libraryman inspired me!

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See you at PLA Symposium!

I'm off tomorrow morning for three days in Chicago with some SJCPL colleagues. I'm attending 4 3-hour sessions, including 2 presented by Stephen Abram!! Look for some posts as time and connection permit.

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Libraryman's Goal

I want to be a top notch trainer and provide the sort of support that helps libraries grow, thrive and evolve. I also really want to be the sort of “next generation” librarian that “gets it” and has an important role in “making it happen” all the while improving the role of the library in the communities they serve, despite how large the changes and challenges we face might be.

Thanks Libraryman! You really inspire me!

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March 05, 2005

CIL Workshop: Organizational Weblogs: Opportunities, Strategies, Tools

Saturday March 19th
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Michael Stephens, SJCPL & TTW

Many libraries are experimenting with Weblogs for marketing, staff development, knowledge sharing, and news. Hear about some of the ways Weblogs have benefited large and small libraries. Learn about Weblog software choices and features to look for when choosing blogging software. Discuss features such as RSS syndication, comments, permalinks, and editorial roles. Pick up some practical do’s and don’ts of blog publishing. Keep on top of this new software and its applications by listening to our experts who share real world case studies. Stay ahead of your users who are creating Weblogs at a furious pace and consider how your library can offer better services to Webloggers in the community who want to link and comment on information in library’s storehouses of licensed content.

(I'll be filling in for Darlene Fichter who was originally scheduled to present this workshop)

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More Presence: AudioScrobbler

Wondering what music I'm playing in iTunes while I'm preparing for three workshops at CIL? (Three workshops???)

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CIL Workshop: Technology Planning for Libraries: Avoiding Technolust & Technobust

Technology Planning for Libraries: Avoiding Technolust & Technobust
Tuesday March 15th 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Michael Stephens, Special Projects Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library
Aaron Schmidt, Reference Librarian, Thomas Ford Memorial Library

Deploying new technologies requires effective technology planning. How do we serve our users with innovative technology and still remain within our budgets? Michael Stephens discusses current hot technologies such as RFID, WiFi, MP3, DRM, and federated searching and how they might fit into library technology plans. He covers what to consider when planning new technology initiatives, including: cost, training, ROI, staffing, etc. Technolust (defined as wanting technology for the sake of technology) is a frequent pitfall for technology enthusiasts. Learn how to create a well-written technology plan that serves as a guide to help you avoid technobust!

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CIL Workshop: Toolbox of Techniques for Teaching Technology to Adult Learners

Toolbox of Techniques for Teaching Technology to Adult Learners
Tuesday March 15th 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Scott Brandt, Technology Training Librarian, Purdue University
Michael Stephens, Technology Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library

This workshop provides practical strategies and techniques to help your patrons (or staff, and even students!) learn what you want them to learn. It focuses on recognizing adult learning motivations and styles/preferences to connect and make technology-related learning stick. The first half emphasizes the importance of the learner and how to get their attention to make learning relevant and satisfactory. The second half opens three toolboxes of practical tools to address how to develop instruction, tips for handling issues and problems that come up in class, and step-by-step examples for teaching technology. Presenters use humor to focus on tips, strategies, shortcuts, tricks, and useful approaches that are based on sound principles. Join them as they review adult learning principles and their practical applications, discuss learning styles/preferences and how to respond to them, identify the five basic learning scenarios and how to address them, and practice alternative teaching styles and how/when to use them. Take away:

•Toolbox #1: Building courses, lesson plans, and learning outcomes
•Toolbox #2: Applying techniques/strategies for classroom teaching
•Toolbox #3: Techniques for teaching specific technologies

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March 04, 2005

iPods for Students

The world is spinning very quickly! There has been so much iPod news of late!

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Libraries and Technology

No one should have to deal with a situation like this - folks, it's 2005 -- there are are tools we can use to communicate, to learn, to exchange information, to improve workflow...

Michael - I have information to share - but please do not use my name or identify my organization. My organization absolutely does not allow IM. In fact - I needed it for a training class and had to petition my boss, the head of IT, and others for permission. I got permission to use it for a specific amount of time - the duration of the class. Then it was immediately removed. That's my story.

This was a response to an email request Karen sent out for me to some mailing lists. My tummy hurts.

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If you build it, will they come?

David King concludes a post (in response to Greg who responded to me) with:

It's up to us librarians to figure out what our content is, and how to provide our customers the ability to aggregate that content.

This speaks volumes. Sure - let's spend $10,000 on a new database, invest loads of hours of Web designer time in a new Teen page, start staffing a VR desk 40 hours a week, add bells & whistles to our Web-based catalogs, etc.

Do all of the these things - BUT have a plan to get your content out to your users! Too many times I have talked to librarians about one of their new but not "taking off" services and they tell me "we didn't promote it much..."

Have a marketing plan
Brand your services
Blog on your library Web site
Aggregate content via RSS
Teach your staff and your patrons how it all works

You may be happy with the results!

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March 03, 2005

TTW on Podcasting

I've been looking for podcast bits out in the blogosphere as i shape these thoughts. I came across these in my travels:

At Blisspix:

"As I’ve commented to a couple of people and lists now, broadcasting/podcasting is fun, but it can be lonely and time-consuming to produce content. I found it quicker to produce live-to air in the studio, because I wasn’t going back and fixing mistakes, and all the equipment was set up (so I could play grabs, a record, a CD, a minidisc and conduct a phone interview all at the same time if I really wanted). At home, I didn’t have the luxury of a permanent set up, so if I wanted to add a song I would have to go back after recording and insert it. I suspect that’s the case for most podcasters who are generally using fairly basic setups. No doubt there will be new software available in the next couple of months to make recording podcasts easier."

Jessamyn asked for comments about podcasting, and cited some interetsing reasons why it's not the format for her. She also points to this, which I totally get:

I've written about unplugging and balance and think sometimes you have to say "Sorry...I didn't get to read/download/listen/consume your content yet.." Sometimes I log on and there are suddenly 5 IMs for me! Recently, I turned an walked away from the Mac to unwind before addressing them. There is oonly so much time in a day - especially when two yellow fellows are eager to go outside!

"My multitasking does not extend to the audible realm." Jessamyn West

"I don't buy that the majority of listeners are actually syncing and listening on mobile devices, but either way, I think it's nice that people are taking the next step from text to multimedia."

But I digress: Ahhh... podcasting! Here's my all time favorite: Karen Schneider presents her Top Technology Trends from LITA via podcast: It's POETRY!

I have been pondering -- in fact, Aaron and I have had some in depth discussions about the merits and drawbacks of the library/librarian podcast this last weekend when he drove over to Mishawaka for a day long session on our CIL workshop and other up and coming stuff.

"Several librarian bloggers are starting to experiment with podcasts as a way to disseminate information. Podcasts work very much like RSS feeds, but are audio files sent out to iPods. If you don't use an iPod, you can still listen to the Podcasts as long as you have Windows Media Player installed on your computers.My question is: how can libraries use Podcasts to get information out to their patrons, particularly those teenagers who are the most likely to have an iPod? I would love to see your thoughts."

Frankly I see the application of syndicated audio content as more useful to libraries than to invidual librarians who blog. There is a niche here: one or two practioners who produce regularly scheduled audio broadcasts concerning LIS such as Mr. Greg Schwartz at Open Stacks.

Greg has done some nice stuff, but I realized in reading Jessamyn's posts that I agree with her. It's not's broadcasting. Works for me. I just hope all my favorite bloggers don't convert solely to audio content. I would rather see libraries make promotional and informational audio content available when the format suits the content.   Technomust occurs when folks in libraries say "we must get technology X" because all the other libraries are getting it. Bad idea! How does that serve a library's users? Want to share a weekly calendar of events -- put it up and feed it out with RSS. Makes sense. Have an author visiting? Ask if he or she might record a brief interview to be podcasted for users at home. What's the implications of fair use for someone to record HOT new music at the library and include brief song snippets -- this seems ok too.  

Back in the day I recorded a segment for our educational radio station here in South Bend called "What's New at the Library." Are podcasts of the same stuff in our future? This would be great to carry around some cool content to listen to on a walk or at the gym.

Usable Podcast Archives: Most of the talk I've seen about podcasting has focused on ways the audio can resemble blogging done in a lively new medium, sound. So we get the regular posts and the familiar RSS. But if we're going to go to the trouble of making audio, at least some of the things we make might be created with an eye toward later use. With our blogs, at least somebody can run a keyword search and hope to locate a useful older piece, but with audio, there will be next to no useful searching capability if the posts resemble blogs.

But if some people use podcasting for other purposes that don't resemble blogs quite so closely, then the pieces might have a longer life. For example, students in speech or English classes might contribute their own recordings of great poems, with annotations or bibliographies to accompany them and with special attention paid to the sounds of good poems. Then later courses could use these collections for their own study, as well as contributing new poems and accompanying materials. The work would live on.

I posted on TTW that for some of the librarian produced podcasts I felt something was missing: chapter stops, a TOC, a way to better "mentally index" the content. Maybe the technology will improve?  How can I search it? But maybe I was thinking of them as blogging and not as a "radio" show.

My big concern is someone taking on the task of recording weekly content and finding it a whole bunch of work! Just like all those library blogs that start and then STOP, will we see a bunch of sites that promised weekly -- daily?? podcasts dry up and blow away?

Here at TTW, I have recorded two podcasts as a test:

The first was very much a test. The second, I realized after it was done, was like a mini lecture on effective cmmunication channels in libraries for a class or workshop. Original content, a handout and a breakdown of my main points make up the whole. I realized later it might be kind of silly to include a handout when someone might be walking or driving -- sorry!

It was fun. I will return to it when the mood and the content strikes me. But BOY am I ready to see libraries jump on this wagon and cast out some content off of their websites -- talk about PRESENCE!

"Doc Searls may have said it best: “Podcasting will shift much of our time away from an old medium where we wait for what we might want to hear to a new medium where we choose what we want to hear, when we want to hear it, and how we want to give everybody else the option to listen to it as well."

So, today, David King posted a videocast, thus giving us more content to ponder, aggregate and make time for. He makes some EXCELLENT points about what libraries might do with vide -- the same goes for audio. here they are

Benefits of Media Content (Podcasts of Audio or Video) to libraries:

Keeps IT staff interested :-)
Perfect for augmenting a Teen-driven Web site
Professors can archive/aggregate course lectures
Oral histories
Online storytimes
Local storytellers telling a story
Internal training
External training
Promotion of library events: interviews, music, speakers

This is an incredible time: iPods in libraries, podcasts via RSS, and librarians communicationg via blogs to create, improve and devlop serveices. Rock ON!

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iPods in Libraries on NPR

Wildfire! I tell you! Wildfire!

(Audio after 6pm)

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Staff Oriented Toolbar - Good Stuff!

Grace commented about her library's Toolbar:

Thanks for posting about us. To answer your questions - right now we've got a press release out to the Houston Chronicle and I'm developing a bookmark for the branches. I've thought about doing a poster, but we'll see. Having it on the website alone seems to be doing pretty well - we had 478 downloads in February. We haven't done any training for the staff or public. Ironically, the staff computers don't yet have a toolbar. Rather than pushing the toolbar designed for the public to the staff computers, we're in the final stages of design of a staff oriented toolbar with access to our Intranet and database searching.

That's what I am talking about! A Toolbar just for staff - that's a great way to keep those resources you pay for in the forefront of what's available for searching. This is good stuff. Planning librarians...techies..adminstrators...take note of what this progressive system is doing to better enable the public and the staff!

Posted by Michael at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The International Take: Gorman

Speaking of the UK response to our ALA president's words... Check in with our colleagues in the Netherlands as well... Rob is posting about Gormangate.

(I promise I won't beat this issue anymore!)

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WIRED: iPods in Libraries


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Technogeekery and a UK Blogger on Gorman

Nice little weblog found its way to NetNewsWire this am:

Note UK Blogger Phil Bradley's post who I got to meet last year in London. He edited my book for the UK back in the day. I was interested to read his perspective.

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March 02, 2005

David King Gets It (or Learning from Your Learners)

No one is born knowing everything

Ya gotta learn sometime

I know lots about library techie stuff, but not everyone is like me

I don't know much about other areas of librarianship.. but someone else does.

Read his post here and don't miss the last paragraph! This is perfect LIS blogging, friends!

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March 01, 2005


I cannot get enough of flickr, even though I am home today watching the snowstorm and a little under the weather.

I heart the feed of London images I subscribed too.

I heart participating in the Feet Perspective Group.

I heart the interaction and finding out where something is via commenting and choosing favorites.

Check it out...

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