31 July 2006

OPL MANAGEMENT TIP: The Library 2.0 Ideas Whiteboard

Although the Library 2.0 random idea generator creates many ridiculous or just plain funny lines, some are well worth reading and implementing in your library. Among them:

impress your patrons with a podcast
add metadata
consolidate your Baby Boomer colleagues with comfy chairs and coffee
completely reinvent the Netflix model and use it to create a virtual library
investigate Stephen Abram at the next conference you attend
improve your library with comfy chairs and coffee
completely reinvent your outdated Information Desk
investigate the Library Success Wiki
discard your ''NO cell phone'' posters
re-evaluate your library
introduce social networks
virtualize your Library Director with a weblog
completely reinvent the OPAC
leverage the power of social software

And here is my favorite: talk about Stephen Abram and worship him from a respectable distance—to which I add, AMEN! (This last is a somewhat shameless plug for my next book, Out Front with Stephen Abram: A Guide for Information Leaders, Writings compiled by Judith Siess and Jonathan Lorig, due from ALA Editions in early 2007.)


Library Success Wiki: http://www.libsuccess.org/

NEW FROM AMAZON.COM—Book Processing for Public and Academic Libraries

Now public and academic libraries can get MARC records, Mylar jackets, and barcodes with their orders from amazon.com. Go to http://www.amazon.com/processing to complete a processing profile for your library. This augments amazon’s existing services for libraries: the Librarians' Store, online invoicing, approval slips, and partnerships with sellers to sell their used books. In addition, amazon partners with the following organizations

MARCIVE, Inc. for authority-processed records, OCLC for WorldCat metadata records to libraries online, during the acquisitions process. Buy books from Amazon.com, automatically get catalog record, holdings set in WorldCat, and labels. And TLC’s BiblioFile OnDemand for progressive cataloging tools and quality MARC records.

Source: BUSINESS WIRE, 31 July 2006

28 July 2006


The British Library has a new website, Collect Britain, with images and sounds of just about anything British you could want.

The section "Collections" has 18 collections of images and 1 of sounds, such as: Victorian Britain, regional accents, Caribbean plantation life, sheet music, etc. There are 6 virtual exhibitions which expand on: Caribbean views, expressions of faith, Durham, literary landscapes, and Grimm's Northumberland notebooks. And "Themed Tours" goes into even more detail on: Lost Gardens, the Trigonometric Survey, and the Old East End.

If you are interested in these subjects, or if your clients are, this is a treasure trove. In any case, there are some beautiful images here.

URL: http://www.collectbritain.co.uk/

26 July 2006

IM Reference in Smaller Libraries

Are you considering offering reference using IM (instant messaging) but are afraid you don't have time for it? The advice below may help you.

Adding IM presence to your one person reference desk really should not disrupt the flow of the librarian’s work at all. I have yet to hear of any library that was overwhelmed with IM questions. Make it part of your information policy: in person questions first, then phone, then IM, then e-mail (if you do it), then snail mail. If it’s part of information services, there’s nothing wrong with looking up from the screen and saying to the patron” “I am just finishing up with an IM reference question and I’ll be right with you...” (or some such..) IM folk probably wouldn’t mind being asked to hang out as well if you had to help someone real quick as well.

Michael Stephens, Tame The Web: Libraries and Technology blog, 24 July 2006, http://tametheweb.com/2006/07/ttw_mailbox

FREEBIES...Flowcharts and 411 Information

Gliffy is a free diagram editor that runs in your web browser. I haven't tried it (I don't have any use for it right now), but you might be interested.
URL: http://gliffy.com/

Another service I found is Free 411, a free phone number information site. I haven't had any success with it yet,. It couldn't find me or my husband's business. It has trouble with difficult spellings or pronounciations. It sends you to an operator, but he/she wasn't successful either. But if you're looking for something easy and are willing to listen to a commercial or two (press 2* to bypass the ad), it's worth a try, I guess.
The number: 1-800-FREE-411 (or 373-3411).


Wikis—user-created and user-edited online encyclopedias—are all the rage right now. I’m not overly enthused about them, but they do have some merit. Read these articles and make up your own mind.

1. Schiff, Stacy, Can Wikipedia conquer expertise? The New Yorker Annals of Information, 31 July 2006, http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060731fa_fact
About the creator of Wikipedia—the high-profile public encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/ for the English version).

2. Sheppard, Michel-Adrien, More on Wikis as Library Tools, Library Boy blog, 26 July 2006, http://micheladrien.blogspot.com/2006/07/more-on-wikis-
Adrien [Supreme Court of Canada Library, Ottawa] provides links to articles, reports, and some of his earlier posts on wikis.

3. Dodds, Leigh, Embracing the Wiki Way: Deploying a Corporate Wiki, Free Pint, 27 July 2006, http://www.freepint.com/issues/270706.htm#tips
Dodds [Ingenta, Bath, UK] is developing the Ingenta Connect website. His article is a detailed guide to creating a wiki and should be very useful if you choose to do the same.

25 July 2006


Laurie Prange [Yukon College Library, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada] has created a couple of great handouts that she is sharing with us. I heartily recommend them.

1. Cheatsheet on Boolean Operators (http://dl1.yukoncollege.yk.ca/laprange/discuss/msg

2. How to Make Decisions Regarding Database Subscriptions (http://dl1.yukoncollege.yk.ca/laprange/2006/07/12#a330)

Thanks to Sarah Houghton [San Mateo (California) County Library, USA], alias LibrarianInBlack (http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/) for pointing this out to me.

23 July 2006


I have found a wonderful new blog, The Corporate Librarian: Addressing issues of general interest to corporate librarians. The blog is a product of Steven (last name unknown), a researcher for a consulting, outsourcing and technology firm, specializing in the U.S. insurance marketplace. He hopes the blog will be useful for sharing best practices, concerns and industry trends, across the general spectrum of corporate libraries.

Recent posts have included the results of a survey on his blog, budgeting, outsourcing, marketing, knowledge management, virtual libraries, and corporate libraries and Library 2.0. If you work in a corporate library, you should be reading this blog.

Other similar blogs you should watch are The Industrial Librarian from Dave Hook [MD Robotics, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada] and Carolyne's Pages of Interest from Carolyne Sidey [Xerox Research Center, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada].


The Corporate Librarian: http://buslib.wordpress.com/

The Industrial Librarian: http://davehook.blogspot.com/

Carolyne's Pages of Interest: http://carolyne-stuff.blogspot.com/

22 July 2006

ANOTHER NEW BLOG: Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the USA’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to grow and sustain a “Nation of Learners” because life-long learning is essential to a democratic society and individual success. Through its grant making, conferences, research, and publications, the Institute empowers museums and libraries nationwide to provide leadership and services to enhance learning in families and communities, sustain cultural heritage, build twenty-first-century skills, and increase civic participation.

Included on the site will be: press releases, grant program guidelines, publications, project profiles, and their Primary Source newsletter.

The site is located at http://www.imls.gov/rss.shtm, but you should use the following URL to connect to the IMLS RSS Feed using your RSS Reader: http://www.imls.gov/rss.xml

NEW BLOG: Life in an Urban Public Library

Amy J. Kearns, Head of the Reference Department at the Paterson Free Public Library in Paterson, New Jersey (and part-time librarian at the Clifton New Jersey Public Library) has created a new blog, Life in an Urban Public Library, in addition to her work with the Library Garden blog. She has some great ideas. Check her out!


Life in an Urban Public Library: http://www.lifeinanurban


Library Garden: http://www.librarygarden.blogspot.com


SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) sent an electronic survey to members of various divisions of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Here are some of the highlights from the results. Most (62 percent) of the respondents work in academic or government libraries.

What do you believe is the single toughest issue facing scientific/technical librarians today? Finances, including cost of publications (59 percent); technology, especially keeping up (31 percent).

Is your institution considering the creation of an open access repository for faculty research? Yes (38 percent), no (40 percent), already have one (22 percent). Do the holdings show up on Google Scholar search results? Yes (33 percent), no (44 percent), don’t know (23 percent).

Does your library use RSS feeds or TOC alerts from publishers to inform users when a new online article has been published? Yes—most have customers sign up for alerts directly (44 percent), no (56 percent).

Does your library subscribe to online books through a vendor? Yes (68 percent), no (32 percent). Vendors with “adequate coverage” Safari for computer science, Knovel.

What is the best way to inform you a new journals that you may wish to add? Email alerts (35 percent), messages to electronic lists (21 percent), direct mail (21 percent).


Here are two good resources for those who have older adults as customers.

Honnold, RoseMary and Saralyn A. Mesaros, Serving Seniors: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians, Neal-Schuman, 2004, ISBN 1-55570482-4, US$60. A bibliography and links to online resources is available online at http://www.cplrmh.com/seniors.html

National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, Making Your Web Site Senior Friendly: A Checklist (http://www.nih.gov/icd/od/ocpl/resources/
). Includes designing readable text for older adults, writing the text, incorporating other media, increasing the ease of navigation, and an example of a senior-friendly site (http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov).

20 July 2006


The librarians at the Goverment Publications Library at the University of Colorado at Boulder have started a blog highlighting new US Government reports. There is also a link to the Free Government Information blog and the Red Tape blog from the Documents Librarians of Michigan.

If you deal with this type of information (and who doesn't), these resources will be helpful.

University of Colorado at Boulder: http://cubgovpubs.blogspot.com/
Free Government Information blog: http://freegovinfo.info/
Red Tape Blog: http://blog.lib.msu.edu/redtape/

19 July 2006


Here are some interesting statistics on blogging from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

(Found on Stephen’s Lighthouse blog, 19 July 2006.)

Total USA bloggers: 12 million (8% of adult internet users)

Number of blog readers: 57 million American adults, or 39% of the online population.

Under age 30: 54% of bloggers

Women: 46% of bloggers; men 54%.

64% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to share practical knowledge or skills with others.

87% of bloggers allow comments on their blog

72% of bloggers post photos to their blog

55% of bloggers blog under a pseudonym

8% of bloggers earn money on their blog

URL: http://stephenslighthouse.sirsi.com/archives/2006/07/new_pew_report.html

18 July 2006


If you ever send a letter outside of your own country, you need to consult Frank’s Compulsive Guide to Postal Addresses: Effective Addressing for International Mail. This the most comprehensive site I’ve ever seen—on almost any subject.

Frank da Cruz [The Kermit Project, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA] has compiled lists of addressing requirements, postal codes, state and country abbreviations, and more for every country on the planet. I found out that I’ve been doing it wrong on so many levels.

Here is just a few examples.
1. The US Postal Service looks only at the country line for international mail. Therefore, the country name should be in English, but the rest should conform to the style and language requirements of the addressee’s country.
2. Do not use UK or United Kingdom instead of England—and ENGLAND should be in all caps.
3. Do not use the form DE-22222 for postal codes for Germany—use just the numerical postal code.

So, if you really want that letter to get there, check out Frank’s Guide! Now excuse me, I have to correct the mailing list for The One-Person Library.

URL: http://www.columbia.edu/kermit/postal.html


If you need to find something on law in Australia, Nicholas Pengelley has updated his site, Researching Australian Law. It includes legislation, cases, secondary sources, treaties, publishers, current awareness, discussion lists, information brokers, and major texts. He also say that “if you only remember one source for Australian legal research, make it AustLII (the Australasian Legal Information Institute).

Researching Australian Law: http://www.llrx.com/features/australian3.htm
AustLII: http://www.austlii.edu.au/

13 July 2006


The Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (otherwise known as AALL PLL-SIS) debuted their Toolkit at the AALL Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri in July.

Although written for law librarians in law firms, it has a lot of information that we all can use.

The Toolkit consists of:
An Introduction
Mission Statement (with Bibliography)
Core Competencies for Head Law Librarian
Commonly Asked Questions and Answers about the Value and Word of Law Librarian
General Bibliography
Statistics Handbook (with Bibliography)

You definitely should take a look at this.

URL: http://www.aallnet.org/sis/pllsis/Toolkit/toolkit.asp


A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services, this is the new version of the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse. Resources include topical articles, lists, statistics, and a conference calendar.

URL: http://www.childwelfare.gov/


Index Translationum is a list of books translated in the world, with cumulative bibliographic information. A product of UNESCO (the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations, it has more than 1.6 million entries in literature, social and human sciences, natural and exact sciences, art, history, etc. Also on the site are the top 50 authors, top 50 countries, and top 50 languages (both original and target).

URL: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=7810&URL_


The National Conference of State Legislatures has put together a blog, the Thicket at State Legislature, “about the state legislative institution and federalism written by and for legislative junkies.” Contributors include lobbyists and members of the NCSL, a bipartisan non-profit organization.

URL: http://ncsl.typepad.com/


The Digital Library of Appalachia provides online access to archival and historical materials related to the culture of the southern and central Appalachian region. The contents of the DLA are drawn from special collections of Appalachian College Association member libraries.” There are photos, published books, unpublished manuscripts, personal diaries and correspondence, journal and newspaper articles, musical recordings, oral history recordings and transcripts, and more.

URL: http://www.aca-dla.org/


Assistive Media works to heighten the educational, cultural, and quality-of-living standards for people with disabilities by providing free, copyright-approved, high-caliber audio literary works to the world-wide disability community. The Internet enables Assistive Media to distribute audio effectively, inexpensively, and efficiently.”

They have over 800 recordings of magazine articles and other short works from magazines such as The New Yorker, Smithsonian, and Wired. They are in MP3or Realplayer formats and range from a few minutes to nearly an hour.

URL: http://assistivemedia.org/


This site from the UN Web Services Section, Dept. of Public Information, lists the following as the most under-reported major human or environmental stories for 2006.

Liberia, asylum seekers, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nepal’s children, Somalia, long-time refugees, the South Asian earthquake, children behind bars, the peace-building potential of shared resources, and the Ivory Coast.

URL: http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/


Now there’s a website just for tales of bad bosses. There’s even a contest to find the best bad boss story. Some of the tales are almost unbelievable—but I believe them because I’ve had some really bad bosses. This is at least good for Friday afternoon giggles.

URL: http://workingamerica.org/badboss/


The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics has posted a report, 100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending: Data for the Nation, New York City, and Boston. The PDF document covers 1901-2003 and is divided into sections. There are many tables and charts and a chapter, Perspective, that provides some commentary and analysis.

URL: http://www.bls.gov/opub/uscs/


ClimateBiz: The Business Resource for Climate Management provides “an easy-to-understand overview of the world of business and climate change, including how to get started—and what to do after that.” It combines environmental issues, recycling, business, and policy. Fascinating.

URL: http://www.climatebiz.com


The Life Sciences librarians at the University of British Columbia Library (Vancouver, Canada), have produced a great webliography on the subject of Health Informatics.

Categories include: article indexes, associations and societies, other reference tools, lists and newsgroups, web and Internet sites, conferences and papers, palmtops and PDAs, current awareness, and electronic journals.

URL: http://toby.library.ubc.ca/subjects/subjpage1.cfm?id=356


OCLC has dedicated an entire issue of its electronic newsletter, NextSpace, to Web 2.0. There are great articles by Rick Anderson, Michael Stephens, Chip Nilges, John Riemer, and Dr. Wendy Schultz, as well as a good overview on Where will the next generation Web take libraries? Yes, it’s somewhat public-library-oriented, but there’s good stuff there for everyone. This should be a must-read.

URL: http://www.oclc.org/nextspace/002/1.htm


Everystockphoto has nearly 300,000 free photos for non-commercial use. They are keyword searchable; the most popular searches have been: water, nature, food, square, black and white, architecture, Paris, NYC, London, Vancouver, woman, girl, people, computer. You can even search by color, red, for example. And the photos are beautiful!

URL: http://everystockphoto.com/


The HW Wilson Company has a website, standardcatalogs.com, that they call “the librarian’s resource for collection development. Some are primarily for public or school librarians (Editor’s Pick, Graphic Novels and Periodicals for School Libraries), but most are for any librarian.

Best lists (for librarians, readers, professional committees, newspapers and periodicals, bestsellers and award winners, and reference books)

Hot Topics (global warming, hurricanes, New Orleans, new media blogs, pandemics, and soccer at the moment)

Librarians’ Home Pages, Blogs, & Other Links (many public or school libraries, but some are for other types)

The most useful list is Best Professional Books for Librarians, classified as general, the Internet, library management, collection development, cataloging, library instruction, public libraries, services to special groups, children’s services, teens’ services, school libraries, and books and reading.

URL: http://standardcatalogs.com/best_pro.htm


Check out the new library in the Greenboro District of Ottawa, Canada. It has a drivethrough book return, free wi-fi, a fireplace, a special teen computer area designed with the help of the teens, a used book store, self-checkout, stained glass art, and more. This is where public library design is going.

Free wi-fi? Design input from your users? Selling used books? Art?

URL: http://www.biblioottawalibrary.ca/explore/branches/sc_e.cfm


Here are seven wi-fi directories, courtesy of LibrarianInBlack.


LibrarianInBlack: http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/
WifiFreeSpot: http://www.wififreespot.com/ -- very complete
WiFiHotSpotList: http://www.wi-fihotspotlist.com/ -- searchable
WiFi411: http://www.wifi411.com/search/index.php – lists over 40,000 spots
ABC News list of wi-fi spots in 30 most populous U.S. Cities: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/popup?id=2103816#fl – I couldn’t make this work

WiFinder: http://www.wifinder.com/ -- worldwide coverage
JiWire: http://www.jiwire.com/ -- covers free and paid spots
Wi-Fi Zone: http://wi-fi.jiwire.com/ -- also worldwide


The AFSCME Privatization Update has “information on the latest activities, problems, and issues in the contracting out of public services.” It is a product of the labor union, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, to which many library employees belong. Could be useful.

URL: http://www.afscmeinfocenter.org/privatizationupdate/library/

Personal Note: Does anyone else feel as I do—that it isn’t professional to go on strike? That is something I just could not do?


A group of librarians in Western Australia have created “blog central for libraries in Australia.” librariesinteract.info is a site for “reflections, job postings, notifications of events, pointers to interesting sites, discussion of the biblioblogosphere, and blathering.” It’s brand new, but it looks very interesting.

URL: http://librariesinteract.info


Georgia State University’s library is remodeling its facilities. To keep its employees, managers, and clientele up-to-date on the progress of construction, they’ve posted photos of the work in progress on flickr. They also have some “before” photos, so I assume there will be “after” photos posted later.

You could do the same with your remodeling project, even if it isn’t as large as this one. Another idea is to post them on your website or to have streaming video.

URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsulibrary/