29 March 2006


Michael Stephens conducted a survey of library use of instant messaging. He presented a quick summary of the data on his blog, Tame the Web.

Are library staff allowed to use IM at their work computer? 21.2 percent said yes, for professional use only; 2.7 percent could for both professional or personal use; and only 25.6 percent said “no.”

Does the library where you work use IM for reference and outreach? 62.7 percent responded “no.” Of the 37.3 percent saying “yes,” 9.4 percent worked in public libraries, 25.3 percent in academic libraries, and the rest in school, special, and other kinds of libraries.

Does the library where you work have plans to launch IM for reference and outreach? Almost half (47.8 percent) said “no.” Of those with plans to implement IM, most were in public or academic libraries (10.5 and 11.2 percent, respectively).

What does this all mean? Most libraries are not taking advantage of this easy-to-use technology to communicate with younger clients. This is especially true of school and special libraries. Get with it, people! (that’s me talking, not Michael)

URL: http://tametheweb.com/2006/03/librarian_how_do_you_im_a_ttw.html

28 March 2006


The latest issue of Computers in Libraries (vol. 26, no. 4, April 2006) has several super articles on serving mobile customers. This issue isn’t up on their website yet, but keep checking—some of the articles are usually available in full-text.

Here are the ones I especially recommend:
Colevins, Helen, Diana Bond, and Kathy Clark, Nurse Refresher Students Get a Hand from Handhelds, pp. 6-8, 46-48.
Cuddy, Colleen, How to Serve Content to PDA Users On-the-Go, pp. 10-15.
Eash, Esther Kreider, Podcasting 101 or K-12 Librarians, pp. 16-20.
Balas, Janet, What’s in Their Pockets? Mobile Electronics, pp. 32-34.
Stephens, Michael, IM=FASTER Virtual Reference on the Cheap! pp. 36-37. (You should really try this one!)

There’s also a good article on making your web pages more understandable to the visually impaired: Peters, Tom and Lori Bell, Audio Description Adds Value to Digital Images, pp. 26-28.

Computers in Libraries: http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/default.shtml


Here’s a great idea for a library orientation for a college or high school, courtesy of Prudence Morris, formerly at Blinn College, a two-year school in Brenham, Texas.

Her colleague, Eugenia Hall wrote, “at a ‘fair” type setting last year, we had some Sherlock Holmes decorations, and students who visited our table were given clue cards with the title and author of one of our books as well as a handout with brief instructions for searching our online catalog for the book. After finding the book’s call number in our catalog and locating the book on the shelf, they would find a coupon for free food from local fast food restaurants or money-off coupons from other local businesses which we had placed in the book’s date due card pocket. It was a great way to get students into the library as well as introduce them to the library catalog. The students seemed to enjoy it a lot!

Thanks to Jill Stover for calling this to my attention to this on her blog, Library Marketing-Thinking Outside the Book.

Blinn College Library: http://www.blinn.edu/library/
Library Marketing-Thinking Outside the Book: http://librarymarketing.blogspot.com/

26 March 2006


Global Voices Online is a non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School. The idea for the project grew out of an international bloggers’ meeting in December 2004 at Harvard.

A global team of regional blogger-editors find, aggregate, and track blogs around the world, both in English and other languages. Each day they link to five to ten of the most interesting posts from their regions in the “daily roundups” section. A larger group of contributing bloggers post daily features in the Weblog section, shedding light on what blogging communities in their countries have been talking about recently.

The goals of Global Voices Online are to call attention to the most interesting conversations and perspectives around the world, to publicize the ways in which open-source and free tools can be used safely by people around the world to express themselves, and to advocate for freedom of expression.

The group also produces the BridgeBlog Index. Bridge blogs are blogs written explicitly to increase communication and understanding between people from different cultures. If you’re writing about Chinese politics for an American audience, or about living in Madacascar for a French audience, you’re bridge blogging.

URL: http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/

25 March 2006


Betsy McKenzie has a good post, Gee, the world is getting a lot smaller!, on Out of the Jungle on outsourcing and librarians, especially law librarians.. Here are a couple of excerpts, but go to her post and read the whole thing.

“It seems that nearly every job can be outsourced to places in the world that pay a lot less than we do here in the United States. I have received e-mails from a guy in India offering to do legal research with trained lawyers in American law books and databases at a fraction of what it would cost to do the work in this country with paralegals. I deleted the first one or two.”

“Can they outsource legal publishing? I'll bet they can and are doing it. If they keep up at this rate, they will have outsourced everything and there won't be anybody left earning enough to buy stuff.”



How do you get cell phone users to turn them off? Fiona Emberton says to take down all your signs.
Why? It annoys your customers and they don’t read (or obey) the signs anyway.

What to do? Give them a convenient and attractive place where they can talk on their phones.

For all the details, see Fiona’s Blog.

Fiona is a consultant with John Stanley Associates, a wonderful Australian consulting firm that works to bring merchandising ideas from retail into libraries—not to sell merchandise but to sell users on the value of the library.

URL: Shhhhhh! http://fionaemberton.blogspot.com/2006/03/shhhhhh.html

23 March 2006


The National Library of Medicine (USA) has a new tutorial for teaching how to evaluate health information on the Internet. It is a 16-minute Flash file, complete with audio. You can download it for free. Looks good.

URL: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/webeval/webeval.html

17 March 2006


The Evidence Based Librarianship Interest Group of the Canadian Library Association has debuted its new journal, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. The first issue is available on the web and it’s a wonderful one. EBLIP is a quarterly, open-access, peer-reviewed forum for “librarians to discover research which can contribute to best-practice decision-making.” Published by the University of Alberta, it will have original research, feature articles, and “critically appraised reviews of existing research (evidence summaries).”

The editor-in-chief is Lindsay Glynn [Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada] and Denise Koufogiannakis [University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada] is associate editor for evidence summaries. There is an impressive editorial advisory team, made up of librarians from all over the world. If you are interested in submitting a paper, see the editorial policies page.

All articles can be downloaded as PDF files—for free. Here is the Table of Contents for Volume 1, No. 1:
Editorial, Lindsay Glynn
Adding SPICE to a Library Intranet Site: A Recipe to Enhance Usability, Lisa Cotter, Larnich Harije, Suzanne Lewis, and Ingrid Tonnison
Employing Evidence: Does It Have a Job in Vocational Libraries? Cecily Martina and Bradley Jones
Name Authority Challenges for Indexing and Abstracting Databases, Denise Beaubien Bennett, Priscilla Williams
Persuasive Evidence: Improving Customer Service through Evidence Based Librarianship, Wendy Anne Abbott
Evidence-Based Marketing for Academic Librarians, Yoo-Seong Song

Evidence Summaries
Editorial: Small steps forward through critical appraisal, Denise Koufogiannakis
Undergraduate students do not understand some library jargon typically used in library instruction, Lorie Andrea Kloda
Children’s input is vital to creating an online library that meets children’s information needs, Susan Haigh
E-book trial using handheld devices yields mixed reactions from public library staff and users in Essex County, UK., Stephanie Jane Hall
The majority of library clients still use person-to-person interaction when asking reference questions, Suzanne Pamela Lewis
Undergraduate and postgraduate students in a North American University are choosing to use chat reference services for all kinds of reasons, Gill Needham
Use and access of grey literature in special libraries may be hindered by lack of visibility and cataloguing, David Hook
Training may affect primary care staff access to the biomedical electronic evidence base, Marcy L. Brown
The randomised controlled trial in medical research: using bibliometric methods to identify core journals, John Loy
Evidence based research activities, interests and opportunities exist for practitioners in all library sectors in the British Isles, Julie McKenna

Evidence based library and information practice: the time is now, Joanne G. Marshall
3rd International EBL Conference - Abstracts of Papers and Poster Sessions
4th International Conference on Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, Joanne G. Marshall
EBLIG is up and running - jump on board! Virginia Wilson, Lyn Currie

This will certainly be an important library journal—get in on the ground floor by looking at its first issue!

EBLIP: http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP
Editorial Policies: http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/about/editorialPolicies#focusAndScope
EBLIG/CLA: http://www.cla.ca/about/igroups/evidence_based.htm


Jack Ammerman
[School of Theology Library, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA] muses on the future of libraries, particularly his, on his blog, TheoLib.

You should read the whole thing, but here is his conclusion:

“Much of what I’ve said above focuses on changes in business models and technology. The Library will certainly respond to these changes. In doing so, the Library’s work that has been balanced between serving the needs of users and collecting and preserving documents will shift increasingly to be user focused. Content will become a commodity. The Library’s role will become increasingly pedagogical.”

This post: http://digilib.bu.edu/blogs/theolib/?p=344

TheoLib: http://digilib.bu.edu/blogs/theolib/

His library: http://www.bu.edu/sth/sthlibrary/index.html

15 March 2006


Library Journal has named its “Movers and Shakers 2006: The People Shaping the Future of Libraries.” Forty-nine (mostly) librarians are profiled, in these eight categories: Collaborators, Marketers, Mentors, Teen Activists, Community Builders, Advocates, Storytellers, and Innovators. I’d like to tell you about a few of them.

Most of the Movers and Shakers work in public or academic libraries (big surprise), but Laurel Graham is a special librarian (and, I think, an OPL). She is Corporate Librarian/Web Site Indexer at the American Dietetic Association. I love this quote from her: “I took the Pepsi Challenge and chose Coke. I am a contrarian.” She founded Free For All, a consortium of medical librarians to provide free articles from the medical literature for librarians in less developed areas.

Jill Stover is the author of one of my favorite blogs, Library Marketing—Thinking Outside the Book. This uber-marketer is the Undergraduate Services Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. She’s young but wise beyond her years.

I met Sophie Brookover at one of my workshops—in New Jersey, where she’s Senior Children’s and Teen Librarian, Camden County Library, Voorhees. Sophie is co-moderator of one of my favorite electronic lists, NEXGENLIB-L. LJ calls her a “pop culture evangelist” which sounds like a good description. Again, a young librarian ahead of her time.

John Blyberg is the Network Administrator at the innovative and user-friendly Ann Arbor (Michigan) District Library. He is actually implementing Library 2.0, not just talking or blogging about it.

Finally, LJ honors the “indefatigable” Sabrina Pacifici, editor of the online journal LLRX. She used to be a law librarian, but now is a fulltime editor, blogger (BeSpacific), teacher, and speaker. And in her spare time she is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland’s Center for Information Policy. I’ve heard her speak and urge you to do the same if you have a chance.

All the Movers and Shakers will be honored at a luncheon at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans in June. Look for them to be the library leaders of the future.

Free for All: http://geocities.com/wfb_2/freeforall.html
American Dietetic Association: http://www.eatright.org
Library Marketing—Thinking Outside the Book: http://librarymarketing.blogspot.com
Virginia Commonwealth University Library: http://www.library.vcu.edu/
NEXGENLIB-L: http://lists.topica.com/lists/nexgenlib-l/
Camden County Library: http://www.camden.lib.nj.us/
Ann Arbor District Library: http://www.aadl.org/
LLRX: http://www.llrx.com/
Be Spacific: http://www.bespacific.com/
University of Maryland’s Center for Information Policy: http://www.cip.umd.edu/

14 March 2006


Attorney Adam Spence, Towson, Maryland, has a completely paperless office. He scans in important papers and walks into court, not with boxes of files, but with laptop. Read all about it on the Out of the Jungle blog.

URL: http://outofthejungle.blogspot.com (choose the posts for 14 March 2006)


Microsoft has established the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Curriculum to support the teaching of computer skills in 11 different languages (English, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese, or Bahasa Malaysia). The materials are free for not-for-profit organizations and libraries. There is also a grant program available from Microsoft through the UP program.

Subjects covered are: Computer Literacy/Computer Fundamentals, Information Literacy/Using the Internet and World Wide Web, Digital Media Fundamentals, and Productivity Applications (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, web design, and databases). Each module has instructor files, student files, and practice files, with text and slides.

This could be a very useful tool for your instruction needs.

WebJunction article about the Curriculum: http://www.webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=12937
Curriculum homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/citizenship/giving/programs/up/curriculum.asp


New and free from newspaperarchive.com, the largest newspaper archive online (28.9 million newspaper pages) are the Titanic Newspaper Archives (15,000 images) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Newspaper Archives (50,000 images). Each database has searchable digitized newspaper pages that are printable or available for purchase. Also on the site are links to other archives and a timeline. The images were a bit slow to load, even with my high-speed connection and some content is available only with a paid subscription, but this is a good resource. Also available from newspaperarchive.com are collections on asbestos, Abraham Lincoln, and the history of the Olympic Winter Games.

Titanic: http://www.titanicarchive.com/
MLK: http://www.martinlutherkingjrarchive.com/

11 March 2006


Betsy MacKenzie discussed whether digital will ever really replace print in her post on 11 March 2006. Print versus Digital—the Grudge Match: Why A Technology Totally Supersedes An Older One appears on the Out of the Jungle blog. Here’s a bit of it, but you should really read the entire article.

“They have been predicting [the demise of print] since I was in library school in the mid-1980’s (and before).” [Also,] “most new technologies add onto the existing technologies, rather than superseding them. It is actually pretty rare for a new technology to completely make an older version obsolete.”

“The question that we have to look at, as clearly as possible, is whether print media offer benefits to users that are improved or simply duplicated by electronic versions that in other ways better the print.” “So far, I do believe the print is hanging in there.”

“What I see right now is that people are very attached to print media of all types. From paper notes, post-it notes, letters, postcards, to print-outs of the electronic research they just did. That may all change when electronic media mature and become easy to read, easier to jot down and retrieve, reliable to keep, portable.”

What do you think? Will digital replace print or will they continue to co-exist? Let me know either by commenting below or emailing me at jsiess@ibi-opl.com

URL: http://outofthejungle.blogspot.com/2006/03/print-versus-digital-grudge-match.html

10 March 2006


It's been a busy blogging day today.

Consultant Pat Wagner has a great article in MLS: Marketing Library Services, v. 20, no. 2, pp. 1,4-5, March-April 2006. It is called Designing Promo Materials That Are Legible and gives some very good examples of good and bad publicity design. Unfortunately, it isn't available online, but you should be able to borrow it. It's worth the trouble. She knows her stuff; she has been a printer, graphic designer, book publisher, editor, book reviewer, columnist, and radio journalist.

Here are some of the web sites she cites:
Pattern Research, Inc. (her company): http://www.pattern.com
Books by Robin Williams, writes about design: http://www.eyewire.com/
magazine/columns/robin or http://www.ratz.com/robin/books.html
Cool stuff about legibility: http://cgm.cs.mcgill.ca/~luc/readability.html
User-centered design article: http://www.stcsig.org/usability/
Type Legibility and Readability resources: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/typelegibility


Some of you might be wondering why I type out the URLs for sites mentioned in my posts instead of just linking to them.

I'ts simple. I often print out a post and when I do the links are lost. Therefore, I includ the URL so I can find the site later.


I just tripped over another new blog--Dispatches from a Public Librarian, by Scott Douglas. It appears on Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Douglas works in a "smallish public library nestled cozily between Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County, California."

Here are a few I especially like:
Dispatch 19 (9/6/05): Advice to Future Librarians Entering Graduate School
Dispatch 15 (2/15/05): Corny Library Pickup Lines, and How Librarians Effectively Shoot Them Down
Dispatch 10 (8/26/04): Librarian Confessions

Homepage: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/librarian/index.html
Dispatch 19: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/librarian/6gradschooladvice.html
Dispatch 15: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/librarian/14pickuplines.html
Dispatch 10: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/librarian/26ScottDouglas.html


Not, not that Dewey, but Dewey the YA librarian in the cartoon strip Unshelved. Colleen the reference librarian is blogging and today's strip is especially good. I can't show it here, but this is the dialog.

Dewey: Why this obsession with your blog?
Colleen: It's my readers. When I don't blog, they complain.
Dewey: Just ignore them.
Colleen: Fine. Watch.
(The telephone rings.)
Dewey: That can't be...
Colleen (into phone): Hello? Yes, I'll start typing again. Sorry.

Great stuff, huh?

Look for this cartoon and many more at the Unshelved web site. You can also sign up to get Unshelved in your email inbox every day for free. It is a wonderful strip and really perks up my day.

There are also 3 collections of the strips, so you can catch up. See them at the web site.

Friday, 10 March: http://www.overduemedia.com/archive.aspx?strip=20060310
Unshelved homepage: http://www.overduemedia.com/
Books: http://www.overduemedia.com/store.aspx?cat=books


This is not a paid (or unpaid) ad, just an announcement of a product that might interest you.

Turn your basic spell checker into a medical word spelling expert with Spellex Medical 2005, UK Edition. Features the correct UK spelling of thousands of medical terms that differ in spelling from American English spell checkers. Look up the correct spelling of more than 300,000 words from the fields of medicine and pharmacology, covering over 60 medical specialties, including anatomy, anaesthesiology, bacteriology, biology, cardiology, dentistry, haematology, immunology, internal medicine, neurology, nursing, oncology, ophthalmology, pathology, psychiatry, radiology, toxicology, urology, and many more!

Single User License prices (may be limited time offer)
Spellex Medical, $119.94
Spellex Medical/Pharmaceutical Combo Pack, $173.88
Spellex Medical/Legal Combo Pack, $189.90

URL: http://spellex.co.uk/Products/med.htm


There are many useful items for sale at the MLANET Store on the Medical Library Association website. Although some of them are rather pricey, they all seem useful. Here are just a few of them. (all prices are at MLA member discount in US dollars)

Current Practice in Health Sciences Librarianship (8 volume series), priced per volume
The Medical Library Association Guide to Managing Health Care Libraries, $76.50 plus shipping
Health Data on the Internet: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide (includes disk), $30.00
Using PDAs in Libraries: A How-to-Do-It Manual, $58.50
Consumer Health: A Guide to Internet Information Resources, second revised edition (Print with disk), $45.00/ (PDF file), $27.00
The Medical Library Association Consumer Health Reference Service Handbook and CD-ROM, $67.50
Collection Development and Management for Electronic, Audiovisual, and Print Resources in HSL, Print version, $56.00/(PDF version), $31.00
Deciphering Medspeak Brochure (in English or Spanish)—free online or $14.00 for 50 (number one best-seller)

Art and Practice of Electronic Journal, Book, and Database Licenses, $94.00
Evidence-Based Health Care in Action, $49.00
Role of the Library in Accreditation, $49.00
The Future for Librarians: Positioning Yourself for Success, $49.00

Hay/MLA 2005 Salary Survey, (Print Version), $85.00/(PDF File), $75.00
Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarianship (8½"x11" suitable for framing), $11.00 (Text also available free online.)

URL: http://www.mlanet.org/order/index.html

09 March 2006


I just ran into this neat blog, Political Arithmetik. It's published by Charles Franklin, a professor of political science, University of Wisconsin. He teaches statistical analysis of polls, public opinion and election results. The blog is subtitled, "where numbers and politics meet." He helps to explain how the politicians can lie with statistics and/or use the numbers to their advantage. Very interesting.

URL: http://politicalarithmetik.blogspot.com/

PS. This reminds me of the quote attributed to either Mark Twain (isn't everything?) or Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." There's also the wonderful little book, How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff, originally printed in 1954 and reprinted in 1993 by WW Norton, ISBN 0-39331072-8, under US$10 on Amazon.com.


The Boston College Law Library has a new blog, Reference Question of the Week. It is a part of their in-house staff training. “Some of the questions illustrate important issues involving library polices, some highlight often over-looked library resources, but the majority are just interesting questions with interesting answers.” They do not answer questions for the general public and do not respond to comments, but it is fascinating and you just might learn something.

URL: http://reference_question_of_the_week.classcaster.org/

07 March 2006


Did you know that there’s a “virtual” (pun intended) marketing course available on the Web—for free? It is the Principles of Marketing section of the Marketing Virtual Library. It comes from KnowThis.com, a section of the WWW Virtual Library.

The course is divided into five sections (so far).
The Basics: Part 1-About Marketing, Part 2-Marketing Research
Consumers and Markets: Part 3-Consumer Buying Behavior, Part 4-Business Buying Behavior, Part 5-Targeting Markets
Product: Part 6-Product Decisions, Part 7-Managing Products
Distribution: Part 8-Distribution Decisions, Part 9 – Retailing, Part 10 – Wholesaling, Part 11-Product Movement
Promotion: Part 12-Promotion Decisions

Also available in the Marketing Virtual Library are topics in over 135 categories, including Marketing Plan, Intellectual Property, Careers, Jobs, Market Research, Finding Information, Targeting, Marketing Management, Training, Promotion, Advertising, Global Marketing, Publications, Publishers, Meetings, Internet Marketing, Selling, and Sales Management.

There are also tutorials on Fundamentals of Search Engine Marketing, Find Information for Market Research, Marketing Method, How to Write a Marketing Plan, How to Do a Market Study and articles such as Sales Training is Not Only for Salespeople and 2006 Best-of-the-Best Marketing Sites.

KnowThis.com is edited and managed by Paul Christ, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of MBA programs, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA.

Marketing Principles home page: http://www.knowthis.com/tutorials/principles_of_marketing.htm
KnowThis.com homepage: http://www.knowthis.com/

06 March 2006


K.G. Schneider recently stepped down as delegate to the American Library Association Council from the Library Information Technology Association due to a budget crisis in her organization. She wrote about it in her blog, Free Range Librarian. Her comments could apply to any library association, especially the Special Libraries Association, so I am reprinting them here.

“I can’t afford to send myself, with my partner’s job ending sometime this year, and it isn’t right to use organizational funds for ALA attendance beyond that which immediately benefits my organization.

“Meanwhile, I have some thoughts about ALA’s Council and some much-needed change. There’s a discussion happening on the ALA Council list the tone of which will be familiar to you who have worked to introduce new technologies into your libraries. Basically it means every suggestion for changing how Council functions is met with fear and resistance, and the suggestions are all exaggerated beyond belief so they can then be shot down.

“No one reasonably expects Council to stop meeting face to face, and no one is proposing that it become a 24x7 virtual Council working year-round. Some of the most fundamental changes Council has to make are between the ears of a few strategic Councilors. [emphasis mine., JAS] One of the most significant changes isn’t really technology-based at all.

“1. Begin webcasting the text transcripts. It’s cheap to do, since we already do the transcription, and it will give our members more access to our deliberations--even at ALA, as I keep saying (over and over and over, I keep saying). Council would have a hell of a lot more accountability if people watched it. No need to run around with cameras, as some are suggesting. As for one Councilor’s comment regarding facial expressions, while I’m not advocating we dismember face-to-face contact, I can barely see my hands in the gloom of most Council chambers, and as has been pointed out Council already sits face-forward as if it were worshipping at the dais of LibraryLand. Where is all this interaction people keep talking about?

"2. Push harder for units to come to ALA prepared for their discussions. It’s expensive for ALA and for Councilors to stay so long at conference, and it’s unnecessary to the point of absurdity. Looking at Council’s agenda for the last five years, how much of that needed to be discussed at ALA—versus getting final (truly substantive) face-to-face discussion? Why are we 'deliberating' the half-ingested, random, often belated thoughts extruded from committees? Maybe we can start thinking about taking action on exceptional circumstances between conferences. It’s equally absurd that we, a society of information professionals, can’t do that.

"Note that all that this takes is a spreadsheet (or even a legal pad for the truly technophobic) and a small posse of busybodies willing to keep pestering the usual suspects on what they will be deliberating at ALA and the willingness to provide monthly updates to Council and to track activity at ALA as well. I think it would be very revealing to watch the patterns of activity (who submits what when).

"3. Think of technology as an asset for management, not some overpriced scourge to be tacked on to 'The Way We Always Done It.' Don’t overreact Think instead how technology can be used to engage members in the business of ALA, but not as second-class 'virtual members' without privileges—who the heck wants that? I do feel Council has a tendency to drift into outer space in some of its deliberations, and its physical isolation from the membership is a big part of that.

"4. Don’t make decisions or assumptions based on 'We Tried It In 1995 And It Didn’t Work.' It’s 2006, really a century later in terms of interactive technology, and besides, I’m all too familiar with how we in LibraryLand 'try' things sometimes in ways guaranteed to fail.

"I concluded with saying, as I’ve said to a few people, if I were queen for a day, I’d simply say Council ends Tuesday at noon, period, and no one’s showing up earlier to make up for it, either. We (ALA and Council) can no longer afford to operate differently, so deal with it. I happened to enjoy serving on Council, even with all the frustrations involved. I know I’ll be back. I’m hoping it won’t be the same organization it was when I left it!"

URL: Read Schneider's original post at http://freerangelibrarian.com/2006/03/ala_council_letting_it_go.php


Libraries Australia is a union catalog of Australian libraries. There’s also an enhanced service that allows you to do advanced searching which includes: limiting your search to material located in a particular state or by date of publication, download or save records, and receive alerts by email of new material added to the database in your subject area. Enhanced service is available at some Australian libraries or you can apply for individual membership for AU$55 per year.

: http://librariesaustralia.nla.gov.au/apps/kss


a) European Union

· EU Law Blog, http://www.sparkpod.com/eulaw, anonymously written, is a a “web log about European Union law for students, academics, practitioners and anyone else who may be interested in it.”

· European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research, by Marylin J. Raisch, http://www.llrx.com/features/eulaw2.htm, covers the treaties establishing the EU, the EU legislative process, case law, secondary literature, and citation rules.

· European Union Research, from New York University School of Law, http://www.law.nyu.edu/library/euguide.html, “covers the Law Library's EU depository collection of official documents and publications, plus related books, journals, case reporters, yearbooks, indexes, finding tools, databases, and websites.”. Note that the guide goes beyond the Law Library's (vast) holdings.

· European Union Law Information Resources from Charlotte Bynum [Cornell University, Ithaca, New York] http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/guides/eu/eu.html. The guide gives a history and introduction to European Union law, looks at the main institutions, sources of EU law and recommended research guides. An interesting addition is its suggestions on keeping up with current developments. Dated January 2001.

· European Union Internet Resources from the University of California at Berkeley, http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/govinfo/intl/gov_eu.html, is essentially a collection of websites about the European Union. Topics include institutions and bodies, business, research centres, documents, journals, and treaties.

b) Council of Europe:

· Guide to Researching the Council of Europe, by Anne Burnett, http://www.llrx.com/features/coe.htm, begins with a “brief history of the CoE and a table listing its major institutions in comparison with those of the European Union. The bulk of this guide discusses the major institutions of the CoE and their main forms of documentation. The final section lists CoE entities and conventions by broad subject categories.”

· History, role and activities of the Council of Europe: Facts, figures and information sources, by Sophie Lobey, from the Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Council_of_Europe.htm. This guide is slightly more up-to-date than the LLRX.com guide to the Council of Europe. It explains what the Council is, how to avoid confusion between its institutions and those of the European Union and provides a list of organs and websites of the Council by subject category.

Based on the post by Michel-Adrien Sheppard [Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada], Library Boy, 6 March 2006, http://micheladrien.blogspot.com/2006/03/eu-law-blog.html


I’m looking at the latest two issues of the Journal of Hospital Librarianship™. There are some wonderful articles here. Sorry, they aren’t online as full-text, but you can see article abstracts at http://www.haworthpress.com/store/TOC.asp?sku=J186

Vol. 5, No. 3, 2005

Zipperer, Lorri, Mary Gillaspy and Roxanne Goeltz, Facilitating Patient Centeredness Through Information Work: Seeing Librarians as Guests in the Lives of Patients, pp. 1-15. The article provides a new and fascinating approach to working with patients.

Beales, Donna, Health Literacy: The Medical Librarian’s Role, pp. 17-27. You may not have time for this much involvement in making sure that patient literature is readable by the majority of your customers, but you should at least read this article.

Eberle, Michelle, Librarians’ Perceptions of the Reference Interview, pp. 29-41. A quick refresher on one of the basics of customer service.

Schott, Michael and Shelda Martin, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Adventures in Quacky and Alternative Medicine, pp. 43-54. How to tell the difference, how to explain it to patients, and some websites for more information.

McGraw, Kathleen and Angelique Jenks-Brown, Creating an Online Tutorial for Consumer Health Information Center Volunteers, pp. 55-63. The right attitude is important, as is asking the right questions. A poorly trained volunteer can do more harm than good.

Christopher, Kerri Ann, et al., A Partnership for Morning Report, pp. 75-82. A good case study.

Estabrook, Alexia, Leveraging Real Simple Syndication for Current Awareness, pp. 83-92. A good example of push technology.

Prottsman, Mary Fran, Current Awareness Tools, pp. 99-107. A list of websites to keep you up-to-date.

(This is nearly the whole issue—great job Carole—Carole Gilbert [Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, Southfield, Michigan] is the editor.)

Vol. 5, No. 4, 2005

Schneider, Janet, Information Therapy and Librarians: Quality Prescriptions for Health, pp. 73-80. A great idea to promote both the library and quality aftercare for patients.

Rosen, Marilyn and Angela Dixon, The Library Survivor Tour: “Having and Information Problem? We’ll Help You Lick It!” pp. 91-96. Another good library promotion idea—this time for an open house scavenger hunt.

(This wasn’t quite as good an issue. They even let in an article by yours truly.)

Siess, Judith, Strategic Planning for Hospital Libraries, pp. 37-49.


Putting poor quality or boring content on your website, or not changing it often enough, can be very expensive to your organization. How? By misleading, boring, or failing to engage the interest of your customers, you can lose them or at the very least give them less of a reason to trust you and your library with their information problems.

Gerry McGovern prompted me to write the above with his post, The True Cost of Content, on webpronews.com. You should read it--it should give you more incentive to work on your web site (and/or blog).

And yes, this is another "do as I say, not as I do" suggestion. I realize that my web site doesn't change as often as it should. However, there have been some recent changes, so check it out.

McGovern article: http://www.webpronews.com/expertarticles/expertarticles/wpn-62-
webpronews.com: http://webpronews.com
My website: http://www.ibi-opl.com

02 March 2006


What are the first words out of your mouth when a customer approaches you? Did you know that you have only a very brief time to make a good first impression?

You should read Scott Ginsberg's post, First Words Make (or Break) First Impressions, on his blog, Hello, my name is Blog. He makes some very good points.

1. The time you have to make an impression is shortening. Conventional wisdom used to be that you had 60-90 seconds. Now it's down to two seconds (according to Malcom Gladwell's book, Blink.

2. That time is even shorter for a web page--maybe even 1/20th of a second (according to the BBC).

3. Try an unusual greeting. He suggests, "Step right up" or "Come on down" or "Don't be shy." I suggest the comic "Next victim?" or the serious and to the point "Ready to solve the next problem."

4. Ginsberg reminds us to make "the first words out of your mouth UNFORGETTABLE."

Ginsberg's article: http://hellomynameisscott.blogspot.com/2006/03/first-words-make
Blink: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316172324/qid=1141305118/sr=2-1/
BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4616700.stm


Tricks of the Trade is a fascinating site from Matthew Baldwin, writer for The Morning News, an online magazine. The page is subtitled “Professional secrets from those in the know,” and that’s exactly what it is. There is everything from how to act drunk to how to embalm a body to how to get a customer to leave a bigger tip. I just had to read every single tip. For even more tips, see Baldwin’s article for The Morning News.

Tricks of the Trade: http://www.tradetricks.org/
Baldwin’s article: http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/how_to/

The Morning News: http://www.themorningnews.org/


Holly Hayes is “a graduate student in religious history who loves to travel” and the creator of a wonderful site, Sacred Destinations Travel Guide. The site has over 1100 sacred sites in 36 countries, plus photographs, maps, reference materials, lists of tours, and helpful trip planning tools.

Included are ancient stones, Buddhist pilgrimages and temples, cathedrals and Catholic shrines, Da Vinci Code places, graves and tombs, Jewish museums and synagogues, monasteries, sacred mountains, Shinto shrines, and UNESCO sites. You can browse by country of category.

Take a look at this web page, even if you aren’t planning to travel—and especially if you are. The URL is http://www.sacred-destinations.com


LexBlog reports that, according to The Wall Street Journal, law reviews are adopting some features of blawgs (law blogs) in order to compete. “From insisting on briefer pieces to creating new and timely Internet features that engage broader audiences, the law reviews are experimenting with ways to reaffirm their significance to the profession.” They are also moving content to the Internet—web-based supplements have been introduced by both Harvard and Yale law schools. “Yale’s new feature, called The Pocket Part, runs synopses of selected articles from the print version, along with short responses from both practitioners and scholars.”

According to LexBlog, “…lawyers get a much bigger and long lasting bang by publishing a blog. And a blog is a heck of a lot easier to write.”

There’s a similar article by Ann Althouse on her blog.

LexBlog article: http://kevin.lexblog.com/cat-blogs-in-the-news.html
WSJ article (subscription required): http://users1.wsj.com/lmda/do/checkLogin?mg=wsj-users1&
Althouse article: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/02/how-will-blogging
The Pocket Part: http://www.thepocketpart.org/

01 March 2006


I found this at webpronews.com, but the original is from SCOUT Corporate Blogging. Not all are relevant to us, but might be of interest to your corporate communications people. Do yourself a favor and forward this post to them. They'll see that you are following the latest in technology.

Here's the list and a few comments of my own. For the complete article and their comments, see the URL below.

1. Understand the fundamentals of blogger relations. A blog is different from a web site--it is a two-way conversation.
2. Create value. If the blog doesn't give the reader something useful, he or she won't return.
3. Grow and sustain your audience by providing real analysis. Don't just re-post something from somewhere else. Add your own comments (like I'm doing here).
4. Report on community opinion. If you can't comment, distill what others have said.
5. Respond with comments to build relationships and traffic. Comment on other blogs--it helps their readers and plugs your own blog.
6. Track your conversations. You can set your blog to let you know when someone leaves a comment.
7. Don't be afraid of criticism. If no one criticizes it means either that they don't care or that they think you don't.
8. Conduct interviews to generate content and ideas. Interview customers or other members of your organization--they are very interesting to your readers.
9. Promote your blog. If know one knows it's there they won't read it and you will accomplish nothing.
10. Monitor the web for brand names and references. Watch for when other bloggers mention you, your corporation, or your library--or even your managers.

URL of original article: http://www.scoutblogging.com/tips.html