29 May 2006


Journalist Stacy Perman has written a wonderful article on BusinessWeek online (30 May 2006). The Library: Next Best Thing to an MBA focuses on how “an increasing number of would-be entrepreneurs are turning to their local public libraries for help in every aspect of launching their businesses.”

She continues, “According to a 2006 study conducted by the American Library Assn. (ALA), a Chicago-based trade group [trade group?!—I thought ALA was a professional association], 61% of small-business owners living in the U.S. said libraries were important in helping them get started.”

“[T]here are more than 117,000 libraries across the country, and a growing number of them now provide dedicated sections and resources for helping entrepreneurs. "What libraries are trying to do is to respond to changes in the business community," says Leslie Burger, the incoming president of the ALA and the director of the Princeton Public Library in New Jersey.”

“Many libraries offer a great depth and breadth of printed and digital information on how to tackle tasks from the prosaic (such as applying for a business license) to the more complicated (like writing a business plan, securing bank financing, and generally structuring and building a business). Many also offer seminars and workshops and opportunities to meet with current and retired business owners and executives.”

Thanks for the plug, Stacy!

There also was one interesting comment on this article. “Fanxiebin” wrote, “The right and accurate knowledge are invaluable and always the key element to reach success. The problem nowadays is that in an era when all of us are flooded by information, how can one identify and collect the right knowledge? No doubt, librarians are the right people who can give you a hand. And I fully agree that professionals like librarians that provide services that direct people to the right knowledge they need is a promising job next to MBA. And more important, the potential of such services has not been recognized by the crowd yet.” [Emphasis mine.]

How about circulating this article to your management?

Thanks to Stephen Abram for noting this on his blog, Stephen’s Lighthouse.


This article: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/

Stephen’s Lighthouse: http://stephenslighthouse.sirsi.com


From the US National Criminal Justice Reference Service, this site includes publications and links on General Internet Safety, Internet Safety for Children, Internet Privacy, Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking, and Identity Theft.

Found on Sabrina Pacifici’s fantastic law librarian site, beSpacific.

Internet Safety: http://www.ncjrs.gov/internetsafety

beSpacific: http://www.bespacific.com/


DJ Gardiner, a “newly qualified” librarian at the University of Stirling, Scotland, has a fascinating blog, Tales of a Librarian. He writes about making the transition from student to working librarian, books, and libraries and librarianship in general. It’s a refreshing viewpoint.

URL: http://talesofalibrarian.blogsome.com


Dave Pollard, Canadian writer and “radical environmentalist” gave us some ideas on his blog, How to Save the World: Dave Pollard's papers on business innovation & knowledge management.

Blog readers want to see more:
a. original research, surveys etc.
b. original, well-crafted fiction
c. great finds: resources, blogs, essays, artistic works
d. news not found anywhere else
e. category killers: aggregators that capture the best of many blogs/feeds, so they need not be read individually
f. clever, concise political opinion (most readers prefer these consistent with their own views)
g. benchmarks, quantitative analysis
h. personal stories, experiences, lessons learned
i. first-hand accounts
j. live reports from events
k. insight: leading-edge thinking & novel perspectives
l. short educational pieces
m. relevant "aha" graphics
n. great photos
o. useful tools and checklists
p. précis, summaries, reviews and other time-savers
q. fun stuff: quizzes, self-evaluations, other interactive content

Blog writers want to see more:
a. constructive criticism, reaction, feedback
b. 'thank you' comments, and why readers liked their post
c. requests for future posts on specific subjects
d. foundation articles: posts that writers can build on, on their own blogs
e. reading lists/aggregations of material on specific, leading-edge subjects that writers can use as resource material
f. wonderful examples of writing of a particular genre, that they can learn from
g. comments that engender lively discussion
h. guidance on how to write in the strange world of weblogs

What do YOU think? Send your ideas to me AND to Dave (use the form at http://rcs.salon.com/rcsPublic/mailto?usernum=0002007)

URL: http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/

28 May 2006

Top 10 Signs You Might Be Addicted to Blogging

Ann Handley and David Armano posted this on Marketing Profs: Daily Fix, 23 May 2006. If this describes you, get help now!

10. You check your blog stats a LOT. You occasionally get up in the middle of the night and sneak a peak.

9. Your significant other suspects you are having an affair with your blog. Even when you’re alone with your special person, you do find yourself thinking what your blog might be doing right then…

8. You “mental blog” while driving or on the train, and sometimes even when you are alone in the shower.

7. You filter everything through your post-writing. You can’t watch a movie, see a play, read an article, or share a sweet moment with your child without thinking of whether it’s blog-worthy.

6. You suffer from “blog envy” when another blogger posts something juicy before you do. You suffer “comment envy” when said post gets 40-something comments – the jerk!

5. You “binge blog” 3 or 4 posts at once—only to feel guilty and empty afterward.

4. You ditched all your real friends for blog friends, because, well, “they understand.” You bypass Bowling Alone at the bookstore (who really cares?) while you reach for Naked Conversations.

3. You think, “I can stop at any time.”

2. Your lunch hour has become your “blog hour.” You keep a few posts tucked in your desk in case you need them during the day.

1. After 5 minutes of meeting someone really interesting you ask, “So, do you blog?”

URL: http://blog.marketingprofs.com/2006/05/

25 May 2006


The Canadian Library Association has created a wonderful website designed to promote the library and information profession in Canada. Info*Nation is looking for your help to gather profiles of diverse people that work in Canadian libraries. They ask, “If you're passionate about what you do and want to help promote librarianship in Canada, fill out the form below. If you know someone who is a perfect fit for this project, you should encourage them to fill out the form too (bake them cookies if you have to).” (The site creators have a delightful sense of humor.)

The current site is only the pre-launch version; “the official launch version of the Info*Nation site will be directed at those considering a career in libraries (and it'll be even cooler than this one)”.

Info*Nation is a project of the CLA President's Council on the 8Rs recruitment working group. (The 8Rs are: Recruitment, Retention, Remuneration, Reaccreditation, Repatriation, Rejuvenation, Retirement and Restructuring.) Its aim is to recruit some new blood to the information professions. The site explains, “By ‘professions,’ we are talking broadly about all people whose ‘profession’—vocation, calling, employment—is working in libraries; not just librarians with too many degrees. We want to emphasize the diverse elements of library work and break down some of the stereotypes associated with libraries. At the same time we want to recruit personnel that continue to be committed to the core values of libraries (public service, learning, literacy, access to information, regular coffee breaks, etc.). Besides, at some point a whole bunch of senior librarians and library technicians are going to retire and it would be nice to have one or two competent individuals to fill the void. "

The site also has some fantastic free graphics (wallpapers, etc.) to help you spread the word—they show young, connected librarians and library users.

URL: http://www.cla.ca/infonation/index.htm

24 May 2006


A Library Writer's Blog is a blog that lists publishing and presentation opportunities in the library and information science field. It includes calls for papers for conferences, new journals, etc. It is a project of Corey Seeman, Associate Director, Information Resources and Systems, Kresge Business Administration Library, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Corey also has web page with many Resources for Library Writers, with lots of neat links.


A Library Writer’s Blog: http://librarywriting.blogspot.com/

Resources for Library Writers: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cseeman/Files/writers/index.html


Emerald is seeking papers for their publication The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances. Possible topics include: budgeting, economic trends affecting libraries, endowments, leasing, outsourcing, insurance, grantsmanship, resource allocation, cost analysis, funding, technological innovation, and alternative sources of revenue.

Articles should normally be between 1,500 and 3,000 words in length. For more information please refer to the journal's Author Guidelines. Submit articles to Editor Kent C. Boese, Manager of Technical Services, Greenberg Traurig, 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20006, USA .

The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/bl/bl.jsp
Author Guidelines: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/bl/notes.htm

Note: This information was found on A Library Writer’s Blog: http://librarywriting.blogspot.com/

New Peer-Reviewed Journal: Journal of Web Librarianship

The Journal of Web Librarianship seeks both practical communications and original, scholarly research about relevant topics in web librarianship. This is a new journal to be published for the first time in early 2007.

They are looking for scholarly articles, practical communications (tutorials; case studies, and descriptions of practical solutions to common problems), and other types of articles such as interviews, bibliographies, and reviews.

Appropriate subjects include: web page design, usability testing of library or library-related sites, cataloging or classification of Web information, international issues in web librarianship, scholars' use of the web, information architecture, library departmental web pages, RSS feeds, podcasting, library services via the web, search engines, history of libraries and the web, and future aspects of web librarianship.

For more information, please contact: Editor Jody Condit Fagan, Digital Services Librarian, James Madison University, .

URL: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/org/jwl/

23 May 2006


An article in library + information update 5(1-2): 3, January/February 2006—published by the Chartered Institution of Library and Information Professionals in the UK—states that these are the three factors most likely to cause stress in library workers:
1. “lack of control over their work”
2. “lack of scope to use their skills”
3. “a poor environment”

Not as critical were workload, variety, security, pay (!), social value, role clarity, and opportunities for personal contact. This comes as a bit of a surprise since poor pay, overwork, lack of respect, and professional isolation are the most common things that I hear OPLs complain about.

What is your biggest source of stress? Please reply by posting a comment below.


It seems I keep tripping over new blogs. Here are a few more.

University of Toronto Law School Faculty Blog

URL: http://utorontolaw.typepad.com/faculty_blog/

University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog

URL: http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/

Intelligent Agent: “news, conversation and analysis about business research on the Web, with a special focus on the intersection of business research and Web 2.0.” From the well-respected Bob Berkman, editor of The Information Advisor.

URL: http://www.ia-blog.com/

The Ubiquitous Librarian: “This blog asks you to rethink the role and traditional values that librarians hold.” This is a project of Scott Mathews, Information Services Librarian & Distance Learning Services Coordinator, The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

URL: http://theubiquitouslibrarian.typepad.com/


I don't normally publicize the work of competitors, but this is too good an opportunity for you to pass up. SLA's CLICK U LIVE is presenting a two-part online seminar, PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR SOLO LIBRARIANS, presented by Pat Wagner of Pattern Research.

The first part I, Mastering the Project Map: Solo Management and Leadership, will be held 13 September 2006, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET and part II, Success in Small Steps: See Your Work with Fresh Eyes, will be held 2 weeks later, on 27 September. Here is the information, from the SLA website (http://www.sla.org/clickulive/). You can sign up for the course at that site, too.

The Course: The solo librarian must master multi-tasking without the luxury of staff members to whom to delegate tasks. Often he or she feels isolated within their institutions, without colleagues who understand their concerns. The responses to this kind of stress are predictable: the conscientious solo librarian tries to work faster and put in longer hours. The result is a temporary increase in productivity and long-term burnout. Instead, the key to solo project management is to become one’s own manager and leader: pausing to plan, fostering peer relationships with other departments, building partnerships with customers and negotiating priorities.

This two-part seminar series addresses making hard choices, mastering the project map, creating a working strategic plan for special and ongoing projects, communicating expectations and negotiating the ratios among cost, time and quality with multiple customers. Participants will also learn to avoid the most common project management mistakes, including project creep, concrete thinking, perfectionism, pet projects, and conflict avoidance, as they apply good management practices to those everyday tasks that waste time and damage credibility.

Part I: In the first segment, we will investigate the project map and learn how to apply the skills of the manager (pausing, planning, communicating) and the leader (risking, anticipating, influencing) to improve productivity, not just the skills of the task-oriented professional (reacting, focusing, self-governing). Participants will learn how to use the map to refocus on workplace relationships outside of the library and keep the bigger picture in mind when responding to customer requests. The map will also help participants understand why they have to shift some of their time and resources away from “doing” their work to coordinating projects and building support.

Part II: In the second segment, we will review dozens of simple but effective methods to improve productivity in the solo library, even on stressed-out days. The emphasis will be on changing one’s behavior in small steps, from taking five minutes to pick three priorities to stopping for essential quick breaks to investing in short meetings with key players in the institution. Participants will be able to work on real projects and goals, and finish the segment with a quick and decent action plan to improve productivity in the first hours after the seminar is over. The hardest part of this program will be learning that the demands of the workplace is not what is causing our problems but rather how we respond to them.

Targeted Learners: This presentation is for those who work alone, who have multiple supervisors, or who are looking for ways to improve the productivity when staff is cut and budgets collapse. It is also useful for frontline supervisors who want to improve workplace performance. It is designed for people with at least two years’ of workplace experience and would be considered an intermediate class.

Critical Learning Questions: What do we have to give up in order to stay relevant to our customers’ changing needs? What will keep us anchored to our goals on a busy day despite interruptions and conflicting demands? Which better project management practices can we apply immediately, even when we don’t have enough time, money or staff to what we think is right?

The cost for each seminar is a very reasonable $99 is you listen to it live. You can also purchase a reply for only $69. When you register, your location becomes a Click U Live! site. The cost is per site [phone connection], not per person. You can host as many people as you like for one low site fee! So be sure to invite your colleagues to learn with you! Register before 6 September and save $10.00! Program registrations beyond that date will be $109. Through the latest in web-conferencing technology, SLA can now offer a replay of the audio and video of the seminar exactly as it occurred live. Purchase of a Replay includes a link to the session. Replays will be emailed within three business days of purchase. You will have 30 days unlimited usage. Access will begin upon clicking on the URL. You will be able to see and hear the seminar, including the questions and answers, just as those who participated in the live event. You will also be able to start, stop, and re-wind the presentation.

This is a great opportunity to take part in a good seminar at a very reasonable price.

22 May 2006


I’ve just run across an interesting journal. “Library Philosophy and Practice is a peer-reviewed electronic journal that publishes articles exploring the connection between library practice and the philosophy and theory behind it. These include explorations of current, past, and emerging theories of librarianship and library practice, as well as reports of successful, innovative, or experimental library procedures, methods, or projects in all areas of librarianship, set in the context of applied research.”

The editors are Mary K. Bolin [University of Nebraska—Lincoln, USA] and Gail Z. Eckwright [University of Idaho, Moscow, USA]. Articles are contributed by librarians and scholars from around the world, thus giving us a chance to read viewpoints other than those we normally see. For this reason alone, you should look at this journal.

LP&P available for free by going to their website (http://libr.unl.edu:2000/LPP/lpp.htm).

The current issue is Volume 8, number 2, Spring 2006. Here are the titles of some of the articles that have appeared in this journal.

Managing the Library’s Corporate Culture for Organizational Efficiency, Productivity and Enhanced Service
Total Quality Management in the Academic Library
Mankind’s Memory Managers: A New Paradigm of Library Science
Thoughts on the Future of Library Computing: Implications of the Use of Handheld Computers for Library Service
From the Physical Reality to the Virtual Reality in the Library Environment
Teaching Information Skills in the Information Age: the Need for Critical Thinking,
Placing Value on Information
The Future in Context: How Librarians Can Think Like Futurists
The High-Tech and the Beautiful: Library Buildings, Digital Libraries, and the Future
Nontraditional Students’ Library Satisfaction
Building a Digital Library: With Comments on Cooperative Grant Projects and the Goals of a Digital Library
Patron-Initiated, Web-based Document Delivery in Germany
Incorporating the Values of the Legal Profession into a Research Instruction Experience for Law Students: Simulating a Law Firm Research Experience
Digital Reference: What the Past Has Taught Us, What the Future Will Hold
How to Speak Out (Visually) at your Library

19 May 2006


Just to let you know, I will be one of the bloggers on the SLA 2006 Conference Blog. Look for it at http://slablogger.typepad.com/sla_conference_blog/. This is the first time I've done this, so it should be interesting.

Of course, that means I won't be blogging here until AFTER the conference (10-15 June).

Until later.....


Library Support Staff.com

Finding and Accessing ~ those ‘links’ that will benefit, educate and illuminate you, for the betterment of YOU, Your Job, and Your workplace.” From Mary Niederlander, former library technician in a hospital library in Buffalo, New York (now retired), the site includes on the job help, educational sites, library journals, reference sites, information on job hunting, web publishing, fun stuff, and other good stuff—all done with a great sense of humor. Not just for support staff!

URL: http://www.librarysupportstaff.com

Library Technician

“Life as a long term techie of the library variety.” From an experienced Australian library technician, newly employed after being made redundant (laid off) from a large state library. He provides a different slant on library issues. For example, check out his post “Not really interested anymore” at http://library

URL: http://librarytechnician.blogspirit.com/


David Lee King [Kansas City (Missouri) Public Library] gives good guidelines for before, during, and after a live webcast. Read this if you are even thinking about webcasting!

URL: http://www.davidleeking.com/2006/04/30/pointers-for-successful-webcasting/

17 May 2006


Here are four blogs by librarians that I’ve just discovered. Some have been around a while; some are just starting; all are worth taking a look at.

Alt ref

“This blog will focus on new approaches toward providing library assistance to patrons…or whatever else I feel like rambling on about.” From Brian Mathews, Information Services Librarian & Distance Learning Services Coordinator, The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Check out his post, “Fun with Library Catalogs!” (http://altref.blogspot.com/2006/05/
)—it has two videos showing how confusing the online catalog is to our customers.
URL: http://altref.blogspot.com

Ab’s blog

“Links, information, and some analysis about library tech stuff” from Abigail Bordeaux, Binghamton (New York) University Libraries. There’s a good post on “Keeping Up: Beyond the Library” (http://library.lib.binghamton.edu/mt/abs/archives/2006/05/
URL: http://library.lib.binghamton.edu/mt/abs/

The “M” Word

“A blog designed to bring the wonderful world of marketing to librarians.” This is a topic near and dear to my heart and I’m really glad to see more marketing information being put out there by and for librarians. This one is from Nancy Dowd, “marketer” for the New Jersey State Library. There’s not too much there at the moment, but I have great hopes for this site.
URL: http://themwordblog.blogspot.com/


“Taking the pulse of medical librarianship.” This new blog (May 2006) is by Mary Carmen Chimato and Darren Chase of the Health Sciences Library, Stony Brook (NY) University. It’s a good-looking blog with lots of promise.
URL: http://medlibrarian.net

If you are a librarian with a blog or know of a good one, please send me your URL so I can promote it on OPL Plus.


Billed as “the resource for library planning, design & building,” Designing Libraries: Library Buildings Online is a great resource from the UK. It is a joint venture of Museums Libraries and Archive (MLA), the Thomas Parry Library, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the Chartered Institution of Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP). While there are only UK resources listed now, it is planned to expand to include sites from other countries.

The site provides: a database of descriptions and images of recent completed, and in progress, UK and worldwide public library building projects; a resource for interactively sharing expertise and experience on library planning and design, through discussion forums and email lists; and links to a range of on and offline resources useful to anyone involved in planning, designing or building libraries. There is also a newsletter you can sign up for.

The database lists the library and contact details, type, population served, type of construction, size (of building and collection), architect, furniture supplier, cost, funding source, special features, awards won, if any, URL, and photos if supplied. There is also a map of its exact location. There are also five photo albums: exteriors, interiors, children’s areas, floor plans, and signage.

Finally, there are a few user forums: hot topics, accessibility, technology, urban design week, public libraries and public spaces, and public libraries in a retail environment. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were such a resource for US libraries??? (Other than the annual Library Journal building issue…)

URL: http://www.designinglibraries.org.uk/


I’m home from a fantastic 12-day trip to France and Germany. My cousin and I went there to do some genealogical research. We stayed with brand-new friends in the small (population 1700) village of Lembach, Alsace, France—just a few km from the Germany border—where our great-great-great grandparents lived in the mid-19th century. It’s also the home of the grandparents of US astronaut Russell Schweickart and one of his ancestors was a witness at their wedding! We stayed in a home that was built in the early 1800s. The village is just beautiful, with lace curtains in every window and flowers everywhere.

I drove all over northern Alsace and southern Germany (the Pfaltz region) in a rented Mercedes A150 (a really neat car—they ought to sell them here) looking a records and talking to archivists and visiting tiny villages, including the one where my GGGgrandmother was born, Heiligemoshel. We also visited Strasbourg and its cathedral started in the 1100s and the German town of Erlangen (to visit a former French professor of my cousin, whom she hadn’t seen in 30 years). Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Since my cousin spoke fluent French and our hosts spoke both French and German, we had no trouble getting around. (I am also bilingual, but my other language—Spanish—wasn’t much help here.)

But now I’m back, almost caught up, and blogging again. So, stay tuned….