August 31, 2005

Southland Libraries

My heart aches today for everyone in the southland but particularly for librarians and libraries in those states affected by the hurricane. I hope we can come together and help in anyway possible as the clean up and healing begins.

I just emailed a colleague down in Terrebonne Parish to see how she is. I hope I hear back soon.

I can't help wonder: will ALA meet in New Orleans as planned? I hope bring our ranks, our money and our support to this most unique of American cities.

Here's a post about wikipedia and the hurricane from Ken Smith...

Posted by Michael at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TTW on BlogDay 2005 (5 Blogs of the Biblioblogosphere You Should Be Reading)

BlogDay is August 31: BlogDay is about meeting new bloggers from other areas of interest around the world, as well as introducing your readers to new bloggers. Conceived by Nir Ofir as a way of celebrating our unique gathering of souls here in the blogosphere, BlogDay will take place on August 31 because the date "3108" looks more like the word "blog" than any other..."

The directions go on to state I should choose 5 newer blogs I like and post about them. I've chosen some relatively newer blogs that always seem to inspire me. Here goes:

Blog Day 2005 TTW Recommendations:

Feel Good Librarian: Jessamyn and other folks have pointed to this one but I have to do it one more time. Heavens, but this is what front-line library blogging is about. In fact, FGL is one of the most unique voices of the biblioblogosphere. Read FGL, you'll be happy you did!

::schwagbag:: : Congrats to Sherri on her new job AND on one of my favorite, relatively newer blogs! The content concerning IM, including a survey, detailed training captures and outlines and ponderances on academic library messaging, are priceless.

Wanderings of a Student Librarian: Thoughtful, intriguing and full of useful stuff: look at "How to Read a Journal Article" as an example. I'm also all about gathering the links to student librarian blogs...fascinating!

Edifice Ref: Beatrice gets it big time! She is blogging and promoting new tools for her library, Rhode Island and has taken on the monumental task of setting up a blog for the ASIS&T conference this fall. Well done!

Information Wants to Be Free Ok, Meredith has been blogging awhile, but WOWZA does her stuff inspire me. Take a look at this post about "What is a wiki" and you'll see, she gets it too:

This is why I am dismayed that some of my colleagues seem to have given up this practice. In response to the question posed in BlogJunction’s post Am I Supposed to Know What a ‘Wiki’ Is? I say YES!!! I can understand reading the email I wrote to WebJunction members and not knowing what a wiki is. There is nothing wrong with not knowing. But, as librarians who must know how to search the Web, how hard is it to look it up? Doing a Google search for “what is a wiki” nets 10 sites on the first page alone that have useful definitions of what a wiki is. In the time it would take someone to send an email pointing out that they don’t know what a wiki is, they could easily change that situation themselves.

So, those are just 5 of many LIS blogs I like to read. What I like about this group is that in each of their own ways they are actively working in our field as practitioners: to make libraries better, to educate users about new tech, to tell stories of the world of libraries, to make the reference desk personal, and improve the image of librarians. Rock ON!

(This is my 700th post to this version of TTW!)

Posted by Michael at 07:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Transparency, Community and Communication at AADL

(Bold is mine for emphasis!)

Library Circulation Surpasses 3 Million

Last year we announced that items circulated during the 2003-04 year passed the 2 million mark. This year, we circulated just over 3 million items. This new circulation record represents a 33% increase and the highest annual percentage of increase in the Library's history.

We are also experiencing growth in other key areas. Our buildings were visited 1.3 million times, an 8% increase. Attendance at programs increased 14%, over 51,000, and more individuals used library computers than ever before...223,000 logins represent a 37% increase over last year.

The need to expand our space and adapt to the needs and interests of the community is clear. Let us know what you need from the Library.

This comes from the Director's blog at Ann Arbor. If you click through a dialogue begins within the comments on the post. It's telling: a library user can state opinion, ask questions and receive a response from the director.

Shouldn't all public libraries be sending this message: Let us know what you need from the Library.

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

August 30, 2005

New Orleans and Points South

Thoughts and prayers to the folks in the Southland.

Posted by Michael at 02:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

UNT: Last Two Semesters of Coursework

Some folk may be wondering where I'm at with school. One reason, beyond stealing some unplugged moments, that there have not been many TTW posts in August is that I was busy completeing the summer semester and continuing work on my preliminary research.

With the completion of the Summer Session I have 4 semesters under my belt! These last two semesters of coursework will involve individual study, preparation of a poster hopefully selected for the 2006 ALISE meeting, and the launch of a web survey I've been working on looking at - gasp - librarians who blog!

(What? Another survey, you say? Yes...please watch for it this fall if you are a librarian or library worker who blogs! I have to have it all approved by the Institutional Review Board at UNT)

I am also happy to report I will be teaching at Dominican University GSLIS this fall!! Here's the course description:


An introduction to the fundamentals of the Internet, including its origins, evolution, architecture, current issues, and future. Students will gain a basic understanding about Web content languages, Web site management, and design/usability principles. Students will also be introduced to the fundamentals of telecommunications and networking with examples drawn from the Internet. Critical Internet issues such as search engine limitations, security, privacy, copyright, governance, and other related topics will also be discussed. Prerequisites or co-requisites: 701 and 703.

My class will be taught over three weekends this fall and I am really looking forward to it. I will blog some of theexperience as well. The folks at Dominican have been absolutley incredible helping me get started.

Stay tuned for more...

Posted by Michael at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

David Warlick Gets the Millennials

OK, our kids are connected. Technology is part of their lives. But lets try to picture this in a different way. As you are, by now, accustomed to my saying, "It's not technology, it's information". These gadgets are their links to information. They talk, text message, and google with their mobile phones, IM on their laptops, access the world wide web, Net-based video games like Halo, MMORPG (did I get that right?) games like EverQuest and Second Life. These gadgets represent intellectual appendages to our children. They are the hands and feet that carry children to new experiences, and cutting these links is like cutting an appendage — and that makes no constructive sense to these children and their world view.

More reason to look at our services to teens and make sure we are reaching out to them in the best ways possible!

Posted by Michael at 07:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Flickr-Stalking: (verb) To browse through someone's photostream with the intent of learning all about how they live their lives: where they go, what pets they have, what their living rooms look like, etc, includes in-depth investigations of their tags and their contact's photostream and tags as well.

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

August 24, 2005

Will Richardson on New Tools

More from the Librarians-better-get-it-before-our-users-pass-us-by Dept.

Will Richardson writes three things schools should do to get on the social tools bandwagon and he speaks volumes to librarians as well - if we choose to listen.

1. Schools need to start blogging and inviting the community into conversations about what's going on. We need to tell parents and students and community members that we will entertain and respond to any comment or idea they contribute provided they do so in a way that respects the civil exchange of ideas and the people involved.

Libraries should too.. AADL anyone?

2. We need to in-service teachers, hold courses and community nights for parents, and teach every student the acceptable uses of these new technologies, and we need to model their appropriate use. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but half the problem is that kids are making the rules up as they go along.

To those associations, groups, federstions, divisions, etc that have created an in service day on these topics and brought in folks to talk about new tools - my hat is off to you. It saddens me to hear of the "what's a wiki" response at BlogJunction. We need to learn and teach others: staff and users. Tell me, when was the last time you updated your Internet/Web class content. Are you still just teaching the same tired stuff you were doing 2 years ago? It's time to add blogs, RSS and more. We are doing our users a disservice if we are not offering information about new technologies.

3. Stop blocking, start teaching.

Will urges us to let go of worrying that some stray bit of content might slip through in the classroom. Instead of being afraid of it -- whatever it might be: a racy picture on flickr, for example -- let's instead focus on teaching kids to understand what it all is and what it all means.

Wow. Take a look at that's great!

Posted by Michael at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

Welcome Baby Carver & Baby Schwartz!

Congrats to both families from TTW!

Posted by Michael at 05:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How will handhelds reshape our culture?

Here's a review of a book about handhelds and Japan called Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life at WIRED:,1284,68537,00.html?tw=rss.TEK

The Japanese word for cell phone -- keitai, meaning "something you carry with you" -- provides a hint about its role within Japanese culture. Over time, mobile devices in Japan have come to be perceived not so much as bundles of technical features, or tools for replicating PC functions from the road, but personal accessories that help users sustain constant social links with others.

So it's not about technology but about the social connection. What else might fall into that thinking? Blogs, wikis, IM? For sure. Let's watch closely as our culture changes as more and more folks discover tools that allow them to communicate who they are and what they believe...and work together as well.

I kid you not: librarians need to pay attention to what is happening with tech such as this -- how will keitai change our jobs, our services, our buildings?

Posted by Michael at 02:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alexandrian Launches IM Reference

What a nice post that illustrates so much of what we must do to insure an effcetive rollout of such a service:

"I updated our website, updated our blog, and began talking up the service with a few teens, who immediately indicated that it was really cool, and they would totally use it."

A PowerPoint is included as well.

Posted by Michael at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Flickr Magazines

New Issue of Indiana Librarians WeeklyiPod traveller August IssueLabrador Living

Why I'm hearting flickr today!

Posted by Michael at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

TTW on the Flat World

Lots of synchronicity while on a short blogging break:

1. A hot post at Infomancy on Libraries in the Flat World. Read it!

With Anne: Online Collaboration Tools

With Anne: Online Collaboration Tools

With Anne: Online Collaboration Tools

2. I had a Skype/Jybe meeting with Anne Beaumont from the State Library of Victoria in Australia in preparation for a presentation I'll be giving in September via the same tools. We went through a Powerpoint presentation, some Web sites and chatted as though we were in the same room. It was 6:30pm in Indiana on Wednesday and 9:30am on Thursday in Australia... I said: "The world is truly flat."

3. UNT Cohort Joyce Valenza and I worked for over an hour on a survey I'm designing for my first big research project via Skyp and IM last week. She was all comfy in Pennsylvani and I was working with my boys sleeping at my feet. "Michael," she said, "it's a flat, flat world."

4. Next up: actually reading the book! It's in the queue for the next drive up to the lake.

Posted by Michael at 09:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On the Cusp of Change: A Global, Collaborative IT World

This is HOT:

Coming Soon...A Single, Global, Collaborative Virtual IT World (Phew!)

"Something fundamentally big is happening that will profoundly affect the life of every person and every business over the next five to 15 years -- the collapsing of everything into one single, global, ubiquitous, collaborative virtual IT world."

So said Hossein Eslambolchi, president of AT&T's Global Networking Technology Services, at the recent Supernova conference co-sponsored by Wharton in San Francisco. The conference, now in its fourth year, explores the forces in technology that are driving computing from a centralized model to a decentralized one, from the center to the 'edge.' These forces, which demand new systems and business models, represent both threat and opportunity, said conference organizer Kevin Werbach, a Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics.

Threat and opportunity. Let's apply this to libraries. What are the threats of this new model to libraries? Well, for one, if everyone is connected and authenticated and working together manipulating information and generating new knowledge, where does the physical library fall? Meeting spaces for sure. Comfortable collaborative enviroments where it's ok to talk, plug in laptops and other devices and create stuff.

What if the businesses like Starbucks and McDonald's that are offering wifi, other technology and more, ramped it up: cafe as information/entertainment space built for people to visit and work/play. What if it becomers the mission of a huge company to take over the "third place" market? That's scary for libraries. Very.

It also makes me think our web spaces have to be all the more savvy and useful, or folks will pass us by. Read Dave's Blog for so much more about how to make the Web experience effective...his stuff is rocking my world these days.

Take away: Meeting spaces & useful web spaces..that's the opportunity for libraries.

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

Flickr: TagFight!


Via one of my favorite blogs, the TagFight at Two tags duke it out. Here's Library vs. Starbucks: Hurrah - LIBRARY wins!

Posted by Michael at 08:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain of the Blogger

Two researchers/doctors present this intriguing post. I'd like to see more ciations and links to studies, as one commentor states, but this should be filed under "Food for Thought."

1. Blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking.

2. Blogging can be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking.

3. Blogs promote analogical thinking.

4. Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information.

5. Blogging combines the best of solitary reflection and social interaction.

I can attest to the fact that writing here has helped my thought processes.

Posted by Michael at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PluggedIn: Portable media players may struggle to find market

"In many ways, I do view portable media players as a technology in search of a market," said Van Baker, an analyst at industry research firm Gartner. "If I'm carrying music with me, chances are I want to carry something that's a little smaller than a personal music player."

Informative piece on the next wave of media devices. It hints that Apple may be prepping a video iPod as well as highlighting the fact that we have all kinds of technology coming at us and folks are still trying to figure out what to do with it.

Posted by Michael at 08:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wikis at Workshops

Here's a nice article by Brian Kelly, who I will be presenting with (along with Aaron) at Internet Librarian International in London in October. Take a look. Here's Brian's line up at ILI2005 as well.

I'm fascinated by the use of wikis to document/report/collaborate on projects. Last June at UNT, we started a wiki for our two cohorts writing group papers and the amount of work that was done within the pages was incredible. At SJCPL, we are beginning to experiment with staff authored wiki pages as part of our presence.

Take away: you might want to put wikis up a little higher on your roster of new collaboration tools to experiment with if you haven't already. Think collaborative web spaces for staff projects, policy manuals, proposals, administrative notes, and more. It might be a titch overwhelming at first, but it's really easy once you get it.

Take away (2): are you on the team planning a library meeting for your state, local or division group. Throw a wiki into the discussion for use at the meeting. Let's get our feet wet!

Posted by Michael at 08:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

Seven Wonders


So long ago
It's a certain time
It's a certain place
You touched my hand and you smiled
All the way back you held out your hand...

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

August 10, 2005

August...a few days off

Karen speaks the truth:

"But the French have it right: taking a breather in August is a good idea. September will come, and with it the usual efforts.

Folks..I have a semester to finish including a paper and a proposal to the IRB for a Web Survey we'll discuss this fall, some presentations to draft and some pondering to do. I'll be back before Labor Day..but for now, TTW is unplugged for awhile. Sit back...relax...breathe... see you soon!

Posted by Michael at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An IM Conversation about IM and the fact that our work here is not yet done

Here's the text of a chat I had a couple of days ago. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. This person was IMing from Europe.

Cool Librarian in Europe: Hi want just to tell you I appreciate TTW a lot from here in ______
MS: greetings from the USA!
CLIE: I particularly follow the IM for VR issue, we're very very far from this in here. i am fascinated by it
MS: IM & jybe could be very powerful
CLIE: I try to promote IM when I teach students hox to use e-resources, but it's not easy
MS: wow i would think they would be into IM
CLIE: I work for an academic library, and the students are very attached to paper, and often reluctant to use technology
MS:oh yes i understand that but IM could serve a purpose for sure
CLIE:The problem is that there is no policy for that, it's not considered as a service - and my new director doesn't even know what it is
CLIE:much work to do
MS: give the director some articles (shamelessy offering "IM Me" Schmidt & Stephens 2005)
CLIE: Not to mention blogs, RSS, and the like...
CLIE:and that's the case of many library directors
CLIE: I deal with those who have heard about blogs or rss or wikis think it's a gadget. But no matter, we're a small group of librarians trying to make things move forwards, with our blog but we do it in parallel of our libraries. We try to make a difference
MS: Rock on!

Posted by Michael at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2005

Instructing Peers

Chad, making the move to his first big library job, posts this:

I've had a slight change in my job description. Together with another new hire, I'll be in charge of most of UAH's student instruction efforts. So glad I took a course on it last semester! I admit to being a bit nervous: In some cases, I'll only be a year and a bit older than the students I'm teaching. Has anyone else been in this situation? Any problems or success stories? I'd love to hear them.

Chad - I must say this is a great position to be in and if I was working at your library I'd be tickled to have a fresh out of school, and yes, younger, librarian doing the instruction.Why, you ask?

I know you will bring a slant to the program that will include newer technologies, newer ideas and a Millennial outlook. Bring yourself, your interests and your persepctive to the classes you design, teach or collaborate on. I think there's something to be said about reaching students in the library setting and who better but someone who probably gets them (because he is one).

You'll understand how students interact, their collaborative nature and the way they look for information. Now, here's the hard part: you may find resistance amongst people on the staff that "have always taught such and such this way" and are not ready for new innovation and methods of communication and collaboration.

Be cool. You can also learn alot from the seasoned staff and hopefully they will learn a lot from you. Those folks, open to change and the future, really rock my world. And take every opportunity you can to show them how our proffession has changed, how our new users are growing up and where the library might fit in the whole picture.

Good luck! An keep us posted with your blog!

Posted by Michael at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

Interesting Photos

infiniteflickrSalisbury PlainApple and Jessamyn's momLightweight

New option at flickr: my most interesting photos...

Here's a page that explains "interestingness" There are lots of things that make a photo 'interesting' (or not) in the Flickr. Where the clickthroughs are coming from; who comments on it and when; who marks it as a favorite; its tags and many more things which are constantly changing. Interestingness changes over time, as more and more fantastic photos and stories are added to Flickr.

I like that...we are telling our stories at flickr. Librarians..libraries...please ponder jumping into the flickr pool!

Posted by Michael at 11:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IM at Alexandrian (A New Twist on an Old Favorite)

Alexandrian PL IMMarin County PL IMSJCPL IM

Above: Three examples of some HOT PL IM Pages..there are many others... take a look and be inspired!

Hooray for Alexandrian PL -- going live with IM reference on August 15. They've created an IM reference page similar to some other libraries -- and one I believe SJCPL orginated (Thanks Maire!) What rocks my world is the progression here. More information about the service and how the library handles questions.

Just a couple of things to note before you get started...

Any screen names that send IMs containing obscene language or that are harassing will be blocked.
We are unable to answer lengthy research questions via IM - for example, a complicated genealogical research question. We are also unable to provide advice on questions of a medical, tax, or legal nature.
IM Reference is part of our regular reference service, which includes in-person and telephone reference services. Sometimes we might be answering all kinds of questions at the same time, so please be patient.

Well Done APL!

Posted by Michael at 07:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2005

The Power of Reading

Anyone who reads TTW..please make room in your aggregator for FGL...

We need to remember why we do what we do folks... just saying...

Posted by Michael at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AADL in LJ & TTW is :-)ing

I'm a flutter over this quote folks:

"We wanted our web site to be interactive with the public, and chose blogs as the major form of communication," said Director Josie Parker. "The major point is to make the library transparent."

This comes from the AADL Director who is actively BLOGGING for the libraray and engaging the community in an ongoing dialogue. Humans are interacting here folks...not tech and not a faceless PR machine.

Lordy but AADL is on the Cluetrain now.

"They are even being used so that the public can talk with each other. The library is the public forum."

Take note, library admin types..this is a step toward an open, transparent community.

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

Yahoo Searches Audio Content

Take a look at this tech piece at USAToday:

Then take a look at the search page here:

I was able to locate some tracks I didn't know were available - at Rhapsody, where I think I need to get a membership...! I also found some Fleetwood Mac tracks stored on a server for download... It looks as though this is a free for all: music services, podcasts, MP3 sharing sites. Let the debate and discussion begin!

Posted by Michael at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

Out into the Community...and a Dunking Booth

Nice flickr set from The Loud Librarian: what a neat idea to have a Summer Reading Program Luau and put folks in a dunk tank. And to use flickr to share the images! Well Done!

TLL writes: "Saturday (once again the hottest day in all of creation) was our end of Summer Reading Program luau block party. It was hours of work, but everyone had a good time, and Becca got some really great photos from the event. My first task was to man the dunking booth while Jessy (our fearless YA librarian) took the fall over and over and over... I also worked a couple of other booths in the tent, and generally helped take stuff down afterwards. I work with such great people. :-)"

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

Librarian's Voices on Library Blogs

Just saying: Here's a nice post to the SJCPL Lifeline by our AV librarian. It speaks to me becuase it's written in julie's voice. I know she hearts Cusack and it certainly comes through in the post. Just returning from the lake, I spent four hours in the car with The Cluetrain Manifesto and one of the pints is to speak in your own voice when participating in the Web. Well done Julie. Library bloggers - file this one under Notable Examples of Great Library Blogging!

Posted by Michael at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

Flickr adds features

I'm intrigued by the idea of clustering - associated tags for groups of like images, such as the Michigan Clusters here. It made me realize I need to pay attention to my tagging. If I want labrador retrievers and get to this page, I get to see all the variances in tags for those sweet yellow, black and chocolate hounds!

One of the benefits of pointing folks to clusters of images is that they will find more images that might not have appeared with just one tage. Ponder then, how we might set up our catalogs with this method. Here's the history cluster page... food for thought yes?

Posted by Michael at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack