September 29, 2005

Saying Farewell

Librarians

Caught at the Starbucks during lunch: a dear group of SJCPL Librarians bidding a fond farewell to Sue, who is moving to Arizona. We'll miss you Sue!

Left to Right: Sarah, Tracy, Maire, Sue, Julie

Posted by Michael at 02:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Got Game?

Via Maire, who gets it:

http://www.aadl.org/node/629

registration is now open for AADL-GT Round 2, happening this Saturday, September 24th, from Noon - 5 PM in the Basement of the Downtown Library. Doors will open at 11:30 for players in grades 6-12, so be early to get checked in and start warming up. Winners of the Sur-Prize round game will take home $70, $50, and $30 giftcards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. We'll have single-player and team events in both Mario Kart Double Dash and Super Smash Brothers: Melee, and the event will (really this time) be broadcast live on Comcast channel 18 in Ann Arbor, so be sure to bring a signed release form if you haven't turned one in before. We'll be implementing several enhancements this round, including smoother, faster registration & check-in, split-screen single player Kart for more races in less time, checkin and food and tables outside the room, and definitely more pizza. Read on for more.

We'll also be having an All-Ages DDR Tournament, Sunday Sept. 25th, from 1:00-4:00 at the Malletts Creek Branch. Open Gamecube play will be available, and prizes are $40, $30, and $20 giftcards.

Take a look for two reasons: AADL gets gaming and they do it well. Wowza. But also note the CONVERSATION occuring between the library and the gamers. This is important. If conversations like this play out between libraries and users - in human voices as well -- watch out! This is Cluetrain stuff of the utmost importance.

AADL, rock my world forever, ok?

Posted by Michael at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Plugged in and iPod'ed Up

From Beatrice at edifice ref comes this gem of a post, looking at the start of a new semester at Providence College Phillips Memorial Library :

"Just coming up for a bit of air after 3 solid weeks of back-to-school activities. This is my first full “fall” semester and it has been a doozy. I haven’t done a tally, but I have to believe the early indicators that our new IM service is a big hit. We launched on the first day of classes, sent campus-wide emails the following week, and we’re now receiving several IMs a day. Lot of reserves queries, messages for full-text assistance, longish reference questions and research appointment requests. I have also personally witnessed my share of “hi library” pulse checking IMs.

The new kids are sooooooo plugged in. They come to the library in search of usb ports to download the papers stored on their Ipods. They are sprawled all over the library with their own laptops, wander through the reference collection, and more importantly, ask lots of questions about our services.

The staff here also seems to be keen on IM, which is great. I won’t say we’re fighting over them, but everyone is eager to answer them. We are also dealing with privacy issues (storage, chat cleansing, etc.) and different levels of comfort using IM. I created two FAQ’s—one for patrons and one for us. It’s a process, and all of the anecdotal feedback I am receiving will be very useful for my November talk to public librarians about launching an IM service."

Hey Beatrice..can we see those FAQ's?

For everyone: This speaks to me. What more proof do we need that our young users are plugged in, turned on to the wired ways of collaboration and communication and comfortable using IM to ask questions at the library. Are we comfortable? Can we handle this "conversation?"

If you haven't subbed to edifice ref, do so now!

Posted by Michael at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005

Buzz Buzz Busy

I'm working a lot this week as well as getting ready for three weeks of conferences. TTW posts will be a tad slower. More in a bit...

Posted by Michael at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

Anne Clyde 1946-2005

Anne Clyde @ IASL
http://www.iasl-slo.org/ac-01.html

From the TTW Comments:

There is a tribute posted on School Libraries Online to Anne Clyde. www.iasl-slo.org Near the top, one can see a link entitled "Vale Dr. L. Anne Clyde". This is a compilation of messages and photos from around the world. Messages are still being added daily. Anne's funeral service was held today in Reykjavik, Iceland with over 200 people attending. - Peter Genco

Thank you Peter.

Posted by Michael at 05:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2005

A Hoosier Librarian in France

trishParis

http://theanniversarytrip.blogspot.com/

One of our SJCPL Librarians is touring Europe! To share her travels with her staff at the branch she manages, she started a blog! I asked if I could link to it here as well because it illustrates some wonderful points:

This is a great way to share experiences with the folks back home. I'd like to see this blog on our staff intranet. Now we're talking about creating buy in and buzz for blogging - wowza!

It also illustrates conversation and community building for the staff of her branch. Look: http://theanniversarytrip.blogspot.com/2005/09/here-is-staff-at-river-park-branch.html What a send off!

Finally, it's an education piece. It teaches folks that tech training might not have reached yet that tools such as blogs can be used to share information and fun stuff too.

Posted by Michael at 05:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Info Literacy Class Guide

Tonight, I'm subbing for my colleague Joe Sipocz in his Info literacy class at IUSB. Here's the outline, courtesy of Nancy at IUSB. (And I added a few things as well...) I'm putting it here for easy access

1. What is the Internet?

A. Definitions
B. How does it work?
C. History
D.What is on the Internet? | Lycos Top 50 (via Stephen Abram) | Deep Web

B. Evaluation

Evaluation checklist: http://www.iusb.edu/~libg/pdf/internet-basics.pdf

Other criteria, the 3C's: context, comparison and corroboration.

Examples:

http://www.whitehouse.org
http://www.whitehouse.gov

In-class exercise:

http://www.martinlutherking.org
http://www.improbable.com/airchives/classical/cat/cat.html
http://www.ekac.org/gfpbunny.html#gfpbunnyanchor

III. Search engines/Directories

How they work: Spiders | Google Pigeons

Which ones are best? http://infopeople.org/search/chart.html | Phil Bradley's Picks

Clustering: http://www.vivisimo.com |http://www.kartoo.com

Posted by Michael at 11:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

Three Bloggers of the Biblioblogosphere 2

Three Bloggers of the Biblioblogosphere

Aaron, www.walkingpaper.org, Michael, TTW, Jenny, www.theshiftedlibrarian.com

Posted by Michael at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2005

Teaching - Weekend One

Parking

I'm at Dominican University this weekend for the first sessions of my class. We meet from 9am-5pm today and tomorrow. I'm nervous, excited and tickled at how stressfree the morning has been so far: up at 4am, on road at 6am...in Chicago by 7:45am... in the classroom..the technology works...the students are arriving... here we go...

Posted by Michael at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2005

Inspiring Innovation for You & Your Library

Stephen Abram links to two articles he has written for SirsiDynix One Source:

http://stephenslighthouse.sirsi.com/archives/2005/09/32_tips_pat_two.html

Go. Read. Now.

Posted by Michael at 04:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Michael Porter on Hot Technologies

Attention West Coasters: Libraryman (Good ole Michael Porter) is teaching a HOT class for OCLC! Take a look:

http://www.oclc.org/western/training/courses/descriptions/W701.htm

Attendees newly acquainted with the subject matter will find the materials and concepts clearly explained and easy to follow. More experienced library technologists will find the technologies, concepts and their overlaps intriguing, with provided materials offering a technically precise background. Each subject area will be presented, analyzed, discussed, and demonstrated. Attendees will also be given valuable resources highlighting further research and implementation assistance.

Rock On MP! Please blog your experiences!!!

Posted by Michael at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

More iPod & DRM (via Michael Casey)

Michael Casey, who has the coolest programs at his library for young people, comments here at TTW:

This quote is from the Accessibility Trial of the Downloadable Digital Audio Book Service from netLibrary and Recorded Books. (I tried to enter a link but it was refused when I tried posting)

"The fact that netLibrary's digital audio books are in the protected WMA file format, coupled with the fact that Apple iPods and most accessible devices (for example, the Book Port and the Book Courier) will not play the WMA file format, is unfortunate. One can only hope that soon both Apple and the manufacturers of accessible playback devices realize that supporting the playback of WMA content is in everyone's best interest."

Here's the link: http://www.tapinformation.com/netLibraryfinalreport.htm

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

iPod Nano Review (Tag this post "lust" too)

Maire turned me on to this extensive review of the Nano.

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/nano.ars/1

The images of the scratched surface of the black Nano they tested are awful! I need a Nano case!

Posted by Michael at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

TTW and ALA TechSource Blog

ALA techSource Blog Screenshot of MS

I am pleased to point you all to the ALA TechSource Blog, a new venture from ALA TechSource Publishing, where I will be a contributor. I'm blown away by the folks writing for this blog and honored to be writing with them:

Jenny Levine
Tom Peters
Karen Schneider

I hope you'll give it a look and grab the feed. No worries though: TTW is not going away. I'll be blogging here as well. As this all plays out and we get the flow of a collaborative blogging environment, I'll point to the ALA Blog or link from there back here.

A big shout out to Teresa Koltzenburg who put all of this together. When Jenny and I were in Providence, we went to dinner and had one of those magical times when the conversation just flows: about librarues, users, technology, the future, the oh-so-elusive big picture and what the new tools of Web 2.0 can do for libraries. Teresa gets it...big time. :-)

Welcome Message from Teresa

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Attention: Audio Book Download Companies (Updated)

http://www.macminute.com/2005/09/21/forbes-deutsche-back/

Forbes reports: "Due its strong product portfolio, market-share leadership, and the stickiness of iTunes, we believe Apple will continue to dominate this product category," the bank said, forecasting 31 million iPod units in calendar 2005 and 43 million units in calendar 2006, notes the report. "The firm also believes Apple will continue to drive share gains in the PC market due to the combination of a renewed enthusiasm for Apple's brand, cutting-edge computer designs, and the superior user experience of Apple's OS."

I'm all about Apple and the folks who are selling content to libraries getting together to make this work! Why oh why can I not get content to my iPod from my home library?

Chad writes most eloquently about DRM & Firefly.

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

Librarians in Hardhats

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/45312710/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcasey/44912824/

:-) I did an advcanced search...are there no more Librarians in Hardhats photos?

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

Travels around Indiana: ILF Meeting

ILF Reference Division Fall Meeting

I was tickled to be on the docket for the Indiana Library Federation Reference Division meeting last Friday with Jessamyn West and some most cool Indiana Librarians. Thanks to Kerry, Scott, Evan and everyone who helped make it such a wonderful experience! Here's Scott's take on the day too!

EvanJessamynScottKerry

In the drama of the day I didn't really get to blog, but Marydee Ojala did! Here are some of her posts:

Jessamyn in Indiana: http://www.onlineinsider.net/2005/09/jessamyn-west-in-indiana.html

Hot New Communication Tools for Reference: http://www.onlineinsider.net/2005/09/hot-new-communication-tools-for.html

This is where it got interesting. Flickr seemed to engage the audience. I clicked, tagged, noted and uploaded on flickr while Jessamyn explained and commented. It was the best part of the day for me: http://www.onlineinsider.net/2005/09/still-more-ways-to-have-fun-at-work.html

Finally, I mentioned podcasting when discussing syndicated content: http://www.onlineinsider.net/2005/09/podcasting.html

Oh! And the Cluetrain!

Thanks Marydee! (be sure to take a look at Online Insider...Marydee covers other conferences and will be blogging from London soon!)

Posted by Michael at 06:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

Flickr as a Training Resource

Rock on Stephanie Zimmerman... her images came into my aggregator today. Hot stuff, especially this:

What a great way to promote training in a library!

Posted by Michael at 07:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Sad Day in the Info Science Community

My colleague and cohort chum Joyce Valenza sent me a message this morning:

Dr. Laurel Anne Clyde, a professor of Social Science at the University of Icelandin Reykjavík, Iceland, suffered a fatal heart attack on Sunday, September 18, 2005. I have read many of Dr. Clyde's scholarly papers, presentations and articles on social software. She authored Weblogs & libraries last year, the first scholarly work on the topic!

I had hoped she and I would meet at some future info science conference because I she was certainly a source of inspiration for my research and writing.

Here is her page at the University of Iceland:

http://www.hi.is/~anne/

I'll link to an obituary as soon as I find one.

Posted by Michael at 06:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2005

Putting a Face on with IM

Christina has a great post about IM, some recent research and setting expectations here:

http://christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com/2005/09/more-on-im-at-reference-desk.html

Good stuff:

And I was thinking that besides the fact that we’re afraid we’ll scare the customer away… we still need to properly negotiate the question if we’re going to successfully use this service with people we don’t know. The point is that we’re in an unequal power relationship: we have the info the customer needs (customers aren’t known to appreciate the fact that we need to keep ref stats to justify our existence). What’s preventing the IM reference staff from asking more questions? Is it wanting to be cool? Not enough time (or perception that if they’re not quick enough the customer will run away)? As the customer vanishes into the ether, do we know with IM that we’ve successfully answered their question? (yes there are studies by Kaske, Hernon, and others on VR… but how about IM where stats aren’t uniformly kept, and questions are answered from the desk—not by a dedicated staffer.) Maybe we need to be more careful in setting expectations from IM reference (as some libraries have done)

Posted by Michael at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

10 Ways To Make The Internet A Better Place

From Blake, who rocks my web-hosting world, comes "10 Ways To Make The Internet A Better Place." Well done and we all should take note.

http://www.lisnews.com/article.pl?sid=05/09/19/1140228

Posted by Michael at 02:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Embrace & Experience Web 2.0

I was so happy to see Sherri post about Meebo and include this little phrase: "Hello Web 2.0!" with a link to wikipedia as a definition. (And WOWZA is that some good reading!)

So yes, greetings to Web 2.0! Are you ready for it? Has your library looked at blogs? IM? Flickr?

And while we are saying hello, take a look at: http://webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=11257 for WebJunction's overview of public libraries and online community, brought about by new social tools:

A new generation of "social software" tools is coming on the scene, and they're making it easier than ever for people to come together online to share, exchange ideas and build community. And libraries have a natural and important place in this new world. Whether your library's current Web site is nonexistent or pretty darn fancy, consider some of the resources below as you plot the next steps in cultivating a more potent and effective online presence for your library.

More Web 2.0 to follow!

Posted by Michael at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 17, 2005

Sometimes we give in to lust in our hearts...


Michael's Black iPod Nano!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/sets/964460/

Posted by Michael at 02:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indiana Library Federation Reference Division Presentations

http://www.tametheweb.com/presentations/RSS.pdf

http://www.tametheweb.com/presentations/IM_and_JYBE.pdf

Posted by Michael at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Three Bloggers of the Biblioblogosphere

Three Bloggers

Michael Stephens, TTW, Michael Porter, Libraryman, & Jessamyn West, Librarian.net

Posted by Michael at 08:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2005

Jessamyn Talks Flickr

Jeff IMs with Butler University's Ref Desk!

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

Jessamyn's Talk at IU SLIS

Jessamyn's Talk at IU SLIS

http://www.librarian.net/talks/iu/

This was my first time hearing Jessamyn speak and she did a great job looking at how libraries make choices about services and technology. There were SLIS Bloggers in the room as well: here's a transcript, some photos and more.

Posted by Michael at 07:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

Spanish Blog Post at SJCPL

Well Done Maureen!

http://lishost.org/~sjcpl/archives/000393.html

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

Off to Bloomington & Indy!

I'm off to meet up with Jessamyn in Bloomington and get to Indy for tomorrow's prgram.

Posted by Michael at 10:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Workshop at Internet Librarian International

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Workshop 2 - The Blogger's Toolkit
10:00 - 13:00
Michael Stephens, Special Projects Librarian, St. Joseph County
Public Library (USA)

Learn what libraries and librarians can do with weblogs and explore the potential for using this exciting new communications tool for reaching patrons and clients and collaborating inside your organisation. Workshop attendees will examine library blog taxonomy, learn how to implement blogs in organisations and how to decide which software to choose for a blog. The fast-paced workshop will cover practical training tips and the ethics of blogging, as well as RSS, podcasts and photoblogging. If you are just getting started, or already have a blog and want to know more, this is your chance to get
practical, in-depth information from an experienced librarian blogger.

Posted by Michael at 09:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Workshops at Internet Librarian 2005

Internet Librarian 2005 Monterey California

10/22/05
Organizational Weblogs: Opportunities, Strategies, Tools
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Darlene Fichter, Data Library Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan
Michael Stephens, Technology Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library

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.

10/23/05
Technology Planning for Libraries: Avoiding Technolust & Technobust
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Michael Stephens, Technology 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 and Aaron Schmidt discuss current hot technologies such as RFID, WiFi, MP3, DRM, and federated searching and how these technologies 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!

Teaching the Internet
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
D. Scott Brandt, Purdue University Libraries
Michael Stephens, Technology Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library

It's 2005 ... do you know where your staff and patrons are? No doubt immersed in technologies like blogs and wireless! And no doubt you could use some help sharpening your knowledge in tech areas, and enhancing your skills in teaching them. That's why two savvy and experienced technology trainers bring you the latest in techy skills! New content covers blogs, cookies, e-books, firewalls, iPods, messaging, metadata, mobile devices, podcasts, RSS, search engines, spoofs & spyware, and wireless. A new format presents mini-training sessions covering each topic! New techniques offer more exercises and evaluations for students, with new take-aways! Is it possible for Stephens and Brandt to be even more energized about teaching the Internet in 2005? Come find out! Can you keep up? All are invited: The objective is to teach trainers how to teach these topics, but non-trainers are invited to attend to learn as well.

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

September 14, 2005

Virtual Visit to Australia

Last night, from 6pm to 7pm, I gave a talk with a group of 60 librarians at the State Library of Victoria, Australia. It was 9am today for them... so as I was nearing the end of my day, sitting in front of my Mac with my boys on the floor beside me, those folks were at work, probably enjoying coffee or tea and planning for the day's activities. ( There was actually a test of the fire alarm system about halfway through!)

We used a combination of Skyp and Jybe to do the "Virtual Visit," which was planned by librarian Anne Beaumont from the library down there. Anne arranged for the session and we worked up a list of web pages she asked me to visit and tell the stories related to each page.

We talked about my experiences at TADL, my thoughts on iPods and devices, flickr and tagging, and about libraries actually having a VOICE and conversations with their users, which in my book is the most important thing librarian web folk should be looking at as they create Web presence.

I thoroughly enjoyed this chance to chat with folk on the other side of the world. Once again, I realize we are facing many of the same things as libraries evolve and change with users.

Posted by Michael at 06:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2005

Lost in a Tag Cloud

Michael's Tag Cloud

(What can you learn about folks by their Tag Cloud?")

Anne down in Australia turned me on to this term while we were preparing for my talk with Skype and Jybe. ! I love it. Have you gotten lost in tags yet? Now there clusters too!!

Tag Cloud: A tag cloud is a visual depiction of content tags used on a website. Often, more frequently used tags are depicted in a larger font or otherwise emphasized. Selecting a single tag within a tag cloud will generally lead to a collection of items that are associated with that tag.

Try these:

In honour of ILI: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/london/clusters/

See anyone you know? http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/librarian/

And here's a "lusty" one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/ipodnano/interesting/

:-)

Posted by Michael at 04:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Trainers: Have you updated your Tech classes lately?

http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/161/report_display.asp

I meant to blog this a few weeks ago, but here it is...still timely in my book.

"The average American internet user is not sure what podcasting is, what an RSS feed does, or what the term "phishing" means..."

Pew lists eight techie terms in the report and I kid you not, your public/student/employee technology/internet classes should define and discuss everyone of them!

These did ok:

Spam
Firewall
Spyware
Internet Cookies
Adware

These didn't:

Phishing
Podcasting
RSS Feeds

(I'd add blogging and image sites too!)

This is important knowledge... every librarian on your staff should be able to define these terms as well as your users. Sorry to preach, but I'm just saying: let's dive into to our role as info literacy trainers and beef up those classes!

For folks that say "RSS isn't catching on.." Guess what? It is, really...slowly but it is. What we can do is help push it along by adding Bloglines or the like to our classes.

For those HOT HOT HOT librarians out there actively training this stuff and staying on top - well done! Comment here if you have any good tips...

Posted by Michael at 04:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Confession of Supreme Technolust

LUST

I'm weak! Weak I tell you!

In the last few days I've lusted for some HOT new tech items: an iPod nano, the iTunes phone, a new Powerbook (hopefully announced in a couple of weeks)... what to do??

What I would tell a library or a workshop filled with tech-planning librarians is to give it some time, read some reviews and talk to some early adopters. Find out what their experience has been, etc. What are folks saying about the nano or the phone? Look at the big poicture of what needs and services such tech might improve or replace...

Hmmmm...or maybe I'll just surf over to the Apple Store.. :-)

Posted by Michael at 09:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Admissions Podcast - What could libraries do?

Ken finds a podcast at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley Web site.

http://www.mchron.net/site/edublog.php?id=P3282

" On a hunch I searched for the RSS feed of the web site of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and I found a very professional, welcoming, and informative single podcast (linked here) from the admissions office about how they consider applications to the MBA program. You can see the impulse -- the admissions office must have had to answer questions about how they screen applicants hundreds of time each season, so this podcast might save them time repeating this information. All of us share the same bits of information over and over again in our work; podcasts must be one way to share a strong version of that information in an always-ready format. The tone is especially good -- the writer addresses not just the need for information but also some of the anxieties applicants face, while also giving good advice about how to make the best impression in an application or interview. I was impressed."

What questions do libraries answer a lot, over and over? How about a podcast on getting a library card and circulation policies? Or an overview of the library's programs, tech classes and book groups? A podcast intro to all departments of a library, written and spoken by members of each area?

Ponder what else might be done with the files? Inclusion on a library DVD orienting new users? Added to circulation digital devices?

Some key factors: a good voice, a reasonable recording that's easily downloadable, a well-written script - and time to produce them.

And don't miss Ken's post about the human voice on university Web sites! What is the voice of your library's Web site? Is it static, dull, tired? Is it alive with feeling and ready to tell you a story... Wowza but I love this stuff!

Posted by Michael at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Is the World Flat?

LISDOM ponders it...This makes for an intriguing discussion: in some instances, like tomorrow when I give a presentation to librarians in Australia, the world seems amazingly flat. In others, there is a great disparity.

http://lisdom.blogspot.com/2005/08/world-is-not-flat.html

Friedman, toward the end of the book, concedes that the world is not truly "flat" but advances and shifts in the global economy are certainly making it seem that way.

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

September 10, 2005

Blogging Katrina

We have a slew of bloggers here at SJCPL that write for the Lifeline, but my colleague Joe Sipocz continually rocks my world with posts like this:

http://lishost.org/~sjcpl/archives/000389.html

It's timely, interesting and relates back to the collection.

Posted by Michael at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

Hogwarts, Harry, iPods and DRM

Harry

So Harry Potter is available exclusively at iTunes. That means you need an iPod to play the files! What a DRM mess we live in...

Anyway, to try to put a spin on this, one cool thing a library could do Is buy a Harry Potter iPod or 2 and circulate them with all the books loaded! Just like the shuffles circulating at South Huntington PL, this might make some Potter fans very happy: access to a Hogwarts engraved iPod and hours of magical audio!

http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=9588012&src=rss/technologyNews

Posted by Michael at 06:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How agile is your library?

Sometimes it's good to return to an article/blog post/presentation and see how it stacks up after some time has passed. For example, I just found a print of this from a 2001 LJ:

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA71785.html

Roy Tennant writes in April 2001 about building agile organizations and suggests three key factors to have a grip on: Communication, management and staffing.

Through my late 2005 lens, this resonates:

Good communication within the organization - both from above and below - is essential. Communication should not be stifled by overcontrolling management or by resentful staff. An agile organization offers many avenues of communication. Line staff must have ways to bring issues to management's attention, and managers must promulgate decisions without delay to all staff.

Nothing harms the esprit de corps of an organization quicker, or with worse effect, than regularly hearing about an internal decision from an external source. Similarly, management should not have to discover front-line problems from customers.

Yes. Indeed. This is Cluetrain stuff as well. Businesses -- and organizations like libraries -- should be having internal conversations at all levels and with no roadblocks or barriers. How do you communicate in your library? I'm all about new tools, so yes an internal blog or wiki might work wonders. I'm also about the face to face. How effective are your meetings? Are they tangential, crowded affairs that seem to disentegrate?

Tennant writes: "Librarians are better consensus builders than leaders. That makes us inclusive, cooperative, and willing to build on the work of others. However, we don't always rise to the occasion on an individual basis. In an attempt to include everyone in decision-making, we end up watering down the decision."

Read Death by Meeting. Now. I'll wait.

Finally, Tennant urges librarians to examine staffing issues, creatively as possible and to look at funding options for new endeavors. This is a good read. Give it a look through your '05 glasses and let me know what you think.

Posted by Michael at 06:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GoogleNet: Is it Next?

In the new issue of Business 2.0, there's a brief article on what Google may have up its sleeve.

http://www.business2.com/b2/web/articles/0,17863,1093558,00.html

What if Google (GOOG) wanted to give Wi-Fi access to everyone in America? And what if it had technology capable of targeting advertising to a user’s precise location? The gatekeeper of the world’s information could become one of the globe’s biggest Internet providers and one of its most powerful ad sellers, basically supplanting telecoms in one fell swoop. Sounds crazy, but how might Google go about it? First it would build a national broadband network -- let's call it the GoogleNet -- massive enough to rival even the country's biggest Internet service providers. Business 2.0 has learned from telecom insiders that Google is already building such a network, though ostensibly for many reasons. For the past year, it has quietly been shopping for miles and miles of "dark," or unused, fiber-optic cable across the country from wholesalers such as New York’s AboveNet.

Intriguing stuff. Could Google be positioning itself to cover the US with free wifi? This is speculation but it's good to consider the impact on libraries. Presence would be a million times more important as our users move to laptops and portable, converged devices. With net access anywhere anytime, the library had better be a key player in folk's information seeking behaviors.

Take a look at this article... and file it away to look at in a few months (years?) when Google is making opther huge strides for information access to users...

Posted by Michael at 06:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Harris County PL Blog Entries for Hurricane Information

Via Luke:

Harris County Library Blog: Hurricane Info

http://www.hcpl.net/ebranch/news/archives/000329.html

Our sympathy goes out to those affected by the disaster.

Evacuees can obtain a Harris County Public Library Visitor Card. This card is free and provides access to all library materials and computers. To get a visitor card, you will need to fill out a library card application and provide your regular mailing address or the local address at which you are staying.

All branches have free storytimes for children and many branches have programming for teens and adults. Please join us.

Nice set of blog entries for the folks that are relocating to the Houston area. This most local of entries into library web sites offering Katrina information says a lot about the information needs of victims of the storm.

Is your library ready for such requirements? What, heaven forbid, might you need to do if disaster strikes to reach out to your community and beyond?

Posted by Michael at 04:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Shout Out: IUSB Library Dives Into RSS!

Via Ken at Weblogs in Higher Education...a big WooHoo to my colleagues at the Schurz Library on the campus of IU South Bend!

Well done!

Posted by Michael at 04:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

London Calling

London

In just a few weeks, I head to Internet Librarian International in London! Transcending Boundaries: Information Technologies & Strategies for the 21st Century is shaping up to be chock full of useful sessions! Aaron and I will be speaking about Digital Tools, Rob Coers and I will speak about Technology Training and Aaron is doing a HOT gadget talk!

Here's some updated info from the organisers:

Internet Librarian International 2005
Transcending Boundaries: Information Technologies & Strategies for the 21st Century
10-11 October 2005 • Copthorne Tara Hotel, London
The countdown is on for this year's Internet Librarian International. Only 5 weeks remaining to arrange your visit.

If you are facing technology challenges and looking for practical solutions, plan now to attend Internet Librarian International on 10-11 October in London.

This year’s conference programme showcases innovative information environments and ideas that will help you update your skills and energise your thinking about how to find, organise, and manage information resources. Create a personalised conference agenda by choosing among sessions, tracks, and topics including:

* Blogs, Wikis and Collaboration Tools
* E-Learning and Training
* Information Organisation and Discovery
* Global Best Practices
* Digital Libraries & Resources
* Exploring Web Research Skills and Resources
* Innovative Information Environments
* Technology for Libraries
* Information Literacy
* National Digital Projects and Initiatives
* Practical Technology Tips and Tools
* Managing Corporate Libraries

This year’s Sponsor Showcase is already full!
Internet Librarian International’s Sponsor Showcase provides attendees with ample opportunity to review and evaluate products and services from some of the information industry’s most influential producers. See the full range of Sponsors here. Visit them at Internet Librarian International and add value to your London trip.

Join your international colleagues
Don't miss the best chance this year to bring yourself up-to-date on new trends, technologies, and skills – plus a chance to learn from, and interact with, colleagues with similar interests during conference lunches and special networking dinners.

Posted by Michael at 08:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 05, 2005

Happy Birthday Jessamyn

Greetings in Chalk

Here's the page of all photos tagged happybirthdayjess:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/happybirthdayjess/

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

September 04, 2005

KCPL Reaches Out

KCPL Reaches Out

David King shared this with me via IM: this is the current front page for Kansas City Public Library. I applaud the folks behind this change! What this means to me is that KCPL is very aware of presenting timely, important information to their community. Not only are they linking to places to donate, but they are promoting library services as well with the "The Library Can Help" link. Just the text of the image implies the library is a clearinghouse for information, referral and support.

KCPL, my hat is off to you!

Posted by Michael at 08:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

5 Reasons TADL Rocks (or A Lesson in Good Service)

TADL Rocks

I use the Traverse Area District Library a lot when I'm Up North. Yesterday was one such time where everything was so smooth, so perfect as a library experience, I need to write about it. I had to print some documents to overnight to Texas for my research project, so off I went to TADL. I must admit I was in a little time crunch because I needed to print and get to the post office before it closed.

A note: other than my IM chum Jeff, none of the folks there know I'm a librarian so I was in pure "patron mode."

1. Thoughtful staff. I sat in the Reference Area for a bit with my PowerBook. A librarian came over and asked "Did you find the outlet?" motioning to a hidden outlet in the table top I had not noticed. "Feel free to plug in."

2. Streamlined access to PCs and printers, no muss, no fuss. I was able sign my name on a sheet, plug in an ethernet cable at a nice desk facing a window and immediately begin printing.

3. Receipts for printouts, no worries. I printed 50 pages so a receipt is useful for my recordkeeping for school. The librarainas at the computing center were quick to give me a snazzy printed receipt (and two paperclips!).

4.Sunny skies. Well, no, TADL didn't provide me with sunny skies but the television monitors in the AV area tuned into the Weather Channel offered a quick look at what to expect for my last weekend up here for a long while! :-(

5. Great Spaces lead to Great Experience? Maybe it's the beautiful building, the local artwork in the gallery space, or the Children's Garden I passed through on the way to my car, but what could have been a series of hurdles to get my documents printed turned out to be a poerfect library experience. "Thanks" said the staffer at the circ desk as I left..."have a nice weekend."

Take away: Visit another library sometime and make use of their services...see how the experience goes. Then: ponder how your own library creates experiences like the above. Is your staff going the extra mile for customer service?

Posted by Michael at 08:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack