26 December 2007

LIBRARIAN'[S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Yes, I know Christmas is over, but I just got this book. It is Librarian's Night Before Christmas by David Davis, Gretna, LA; Pelican Publishing Co., 2007, ISBN 978-1-58980-336-7 and it is absolutely adorable!

It begins...
"'Twas a cold Yuletide evening, and I wandered the stacks,
Shelving multiple titles that thee patrons brought back.
We toiled overtime at our library here,
'Cause the powers that be cut our staffing this year."

Then Santa and his elves arrive in a red bookmobile with Shakespeare's face airbrushed on the side, bringing new books, paying fines, shelving, etc.

The tale ends...
"His ride lifted up and flew over the gate.
And just to show off, he zoomed a fast figure eight.
Nick boomed from is book van, 'Do one more good deed.
Have a real merry Christmas--teach someone to read!"

It is beautifully illustrated by New Zealander Jim Harris.

The author has also done Redneck Night Before Christmas, Trucker's Night Before Christmas, and Nurse's Night Before Christmas.

17 December 2007

SURVEY RESULTS OF AUSTRALIAN HEALTH LIBRARY WEB 2.0 TOOL USE

Preliminary results of a survey on Web 2.0 tool social networking use in Australian health libraries is available now, according to a message on the aliaHEALTH electronic list from Suzanne Lewis, Lisa Cotter and Gillian Wood, the researchers. There were 203 responses, from all states and territories. Results will also be posted on the HLIS blog. These are preliminary results presented using the MLA format for ease of comparison with the original MLA survey results. Further analysis will be done over the next month or so and messages will be posted to this list and the blogs.


URLs:
Survey results: http://www.eblip.net.au/projects/web2survey/Report_Dec07_Results.pdf
HLIS blog: http://hlis.wordpress.com/


BLOG—THE SUNDAY LIBRARIANS


I just ran across a new blog, The Sunday Librarians—Two newly minted public librarians share their experiences from the Sunday shift. It starts on Monday, September 3, 2007. Here is an excerpt from their first post.

“So, the idea here is that a friend and I both graduated from library school and started working for the same public library system as Sunday librarians (i.e., we only work on Sundays), and we thought it might be fun and or useful for us to blog about our experiences for the benefit, amusement, and/or horror of other librarians, library school students, and/or anyone else who might trip over this little enterprise.”

If you are a public librarian, know one, or are thinking of becoming one, this blog is an eye-opener.


URL: http://sundaylibrarians.blogspot.com/2007/09/here-we-go.html

15 December 2007

A PRONOUNCING DICTIONARY

This is neat! Howjsay.com lets you type a word in, using either British or American spelling, and it speaks the word in “Standard British English.” Notes: there are no obscene or profane words; there are some alternative pronunciations; there are no phonetic transcriptions; and it is a “work in progress.” It is the work of Tim Bowyer, Amman, Jordan.

URL: http://www.howjsay.com/

BOOK SUGGESTIONS WIKI

There is a neat wiki on Metafilter that has suggestions for books from the AskMe HelpDesk (http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/)

What’s there? Non-fiction (science & math; travel; philosophy and religion; history, politics, and sociology; biography; business, economics and investment; life, health and medicine; hobbies, sports and games; food, drink and cooking; technology; design; arts and education), Fiction (crime, mystery and noir; historical; non-English; women; sci-fi and fantasy; for a book club; for kids; by age; as gifts; about a place), Libraries, Bookstores, Books ownership, Questions about specific books or authors, and Other sources of book recommendations.

There is lots of great stuff here.


URL: http://mssv.net/wiki/index.php/ReadMe.

14 December 2007

SECOND LIFE FYI FOR LIBRARIANS

Ellyssa Kroski [Columbia University, New York, New York, USA] has posted “A Quick Guide to Second Life for Librarians” on her blog, iLibrarian. The post includes Library Sites in Second Life (the 12 islands of the Alliance Library System which make up the Info Archipelago), Places to Learn about Second Life, Sites to Visit, Sights to See, Second Life Blogs, Second Life Educational Resources, and Videos about Second Life. While not absolutely everything you need to know about Second Life, it’s a great start. Thanks, Ellyssa!

URL: http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/2007/a-quick-guide-to-second-life-for-librarians/

13 December 2007

FOR LAW LIBRARIANS


Bria O’Brien
[Littler Mendelson, P.C., San Francisco, California, USA] wrote an interesting article in the quarterly publication of the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section, American Association of Law Libraries.

“If law firms are moving in the direction of modeling their business practices on the clients for whom they work, perhaps it is time for law librarian to consider modeling law firm libraries on the special libraries of such corporations.” She did a quick survey of special librarians and found that nearly all have over 20 business books in their libraries. While this is not news to most of us, it was to her—and probably to other law librarians as well. She suggests the “librarians must partner with professional development staff to create a small library of such texts and house them in the physical library as well as in other formats, such as podcasts and e-books. (emphasis mine) By doing this, we will show that we are paying attention not just to the legal information needs of the attorneys, but that we understand our company’s business as a whole.” She lists several “advantages of books,” such as “inexpensive, about US$6.00 to $60.00” (most of us would not think $60 is inexpensive, but it is to a law librarian); “catchy items as part of a new books display;” “generally small and easy to read.” She has a nice list of “classic” business books and legal business books, too.

O'Brien, Bria, Exploring our Corporate Identity through Collection Development; Executive Reading in the Firm Library, PLL Perspectives 19(2): 5-7, http://www.aallnet.org/sis/pllsis/newslett/winter08.asp#feature_2

12 December 2007

GOOD LUCK CANDY FOR FINALS


Brian Matthews
[Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, USA] has a good promotional idea for academic libraries.

“Donuts? Sugar Cookies? Snickers? Coffee? Yawn...I just put out some Good Luck Candy and Fortune Cookies and they seem to be popular, although I guess it doesn’t matter what you set out, people will take anything that is free. It’s the thought that counts, so... why not put a little thought into it? Maybe try and build a tradition of grabbing some good luck candy before heading off to take your exams. Don’t get me wrong, Reese’s Cups are great, but how often do you get to eat a little good luck? Maybe, just maybe it will give someone a little perk heading to a test.

Oh wait, some people still ban food in their libraries, how quaint.


URL: http://theubiquitouslibrarian.typepad.com/the_ubiquitous_librarian/
2007/12/try-some-good-l.html

SPAM MAY NOW BE 90-95 PERCENT OF ALL EMAIL

Barracuda, an e-mail security company, analyzed over one billion messages sent to its 50,000 customers and repots that the percentage of spam increased to 90-95 percent, up from 85-90 percent in 2006, and “way up” from 5 percent back in 2001. Symantec estimates spam at only 71 percent, up from 56 percent in 2006. (From an article by Jacqui Cheng [Ars Technica, Malden, Massachusetts, USA]


URL: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071212-report-95-percent
-of-all-e-mail-has-that-spammy-smell.html

NEW BLOG: LIBRARIANS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

“ALIAWest co-ordinates and communicates strategic professional issues and organises continuing professional development activities statewide. As part of this role ALIAWest has produced a newsletter, Biblia, as a communication tool for the profession in Western Australia.Throughout 2007 the ALIAWest committee has been exploring methods to make Biblia more accessible to today’s generation of library workers. We’ve investigated a number of options and settled on the model of a blog. All ALIA members are invited to blog about items and issues of interest to the profession in WA. Liz Burke, convenor.

URL: http://aliawestbiblia.blogspot.com/

CUSTOMER SERVICE—A NEWBIE GETS IT!

Cynthia Lambert, a MLIS candidate at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA) has an excellent post on Library Garden on customer service. In it she writes,
“As I start my career of library work, I pledge the following:
1) No matter what is happening in my personal life, while at work, I will smile at every person I come in contact with.
2) When a patron apologizes for bothering me (as is often the case), I will assure them that it is no bother--I am here to help them and happy to do it.
3) I will remember that the person asking me for assistance has chosen the library over many other resources. I will do everything I can to make them happy about making that choice.
4) When I am not at work, I will promote libraries every chance I get. If anyone tells me of a bad experience, I will encourage them to try again--most librarians are in the business because they want to help, they want to make a difference, they like people.

URL: http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/2007/12/bill-ted-had-it-right.html

04 December 2007

LOOKING FOR AN ATTORNEY?


Scott Russell posted a great resource on llrx.com. It is A Brief Overview of Attorney Directories and a 50 State Survey of Online State Bar Directories and includes general sites (such as Martindale-Hubbell, Chambers, Best Lawyers in America, Findlaw, lawyers.com, or LegalDirectories.com. He divides state bar directories into those that restrict access for members only or are not online and those that allow searching by company and/or keyword and lists them by state, with links.


URL: http://www.llrx.com/features/locatinglawyers.htm

03 December 2007

SLOW LOADING EXPLAINED

The reason the blog is slow to load is the addition of the photos of South Africa. Let me know if you think I should delete them.

Judy

YES, YOU TOO CAN CREATE WEBCASTS

Sarah Houghton-Jan [San Jose (California) Public Library, USA] points out on her Librarian in Black blog that any library can record one-time programming and post it on its website. This can get the program you worked so hard on to more customers, making your time and effort go further. She suggests looking at the New York Public Library’s list of webcasts to get ideas. I agree. I’m sure I’d be doing this if I were still working in a library.


URLs:

Houghton-Jan’s post: http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/librarianinblack/2007/12/nypl-webcasts-u.html

NYPL’s web page: http://www.nypl.org/audiovideo/index.cfm?go=5

BOOK A LIBRARIAN


Paul Signorelli [San Francisco (California) Public Library, USA] has a post on InfoBlog about a neat service provided by his library. Here is the description from their website.

“Do you need personalized help using a computer or the Internet? Do you have questions on a topic not covered in one of our free classes or simply need more help with a specific computer or Internet task? During the month of December, the library is offering limited one-on-one training sessions. Sessions are limited to 30 minutes and require advanced sign up.”

Help can be with anything from Internet or email assistance to in-depth reference assistance in a subject area familiar to the librarian—far more than customers can gain from brief exchanges with staff at busy reference desks. It started in April and has expanded from one librarian to four. Some branches are also considering offering the program. It is so popular that it’s booked about 50 days ahead and they’ve had to expand their hours.


URL: http://infoblog.infopeople.org/2007/11/best_practices_

book_a_libraria.php

02 December 2007

LISTS OF LISTS

The List Universe (or listverse) has links to lists, lists of lists, and more lists. You can find the top 10: most common historical myths, film musicals, funniest IRC quotes, bizarre eating habits, differences between Europe and America, and Simpsons episodes. The most popular are: incredible recordings, manipulated photographs, human sideshow freaks, etc. It seems that people who use this site are a bit peculiar, to say the least. It is a creation of Jamie Frater (whoever he is). As the book reviewers say, not a necessary purchase (although it’s free, of course).

URL: http://listverse.com

A MOREAUTHORITATIVE ALTERNATIVE TO WIKIPEDIA

Veropedia “is a collaborative effort by a group of Wikipedians to collect the best of Wikipedia’s content, clean it up, vet it, and save it for all time. These articles are stable and cannot be edited.” It is not competing with Wikipedia—they “prefer to think of [themselves] as a meta-layer, highlighting the best that Wikipedia has to offer.” There are two types of links, green (already verified) and blue (not verified, directing you back to Wikipedia). It contains over 4500 articles there now. Very interesting.

URL: http://veropedia.com/

LINKS TO FREE INFORMATION

The Free Library now has links to over 3 million articles, books, newspapers, and other reference sites. Categories include business, communications, entertainment, general interest, health, humanities, law, recreation, science, and social sciences. (The vast majority of the citations are in business, over 2.6 million of them.) You can browse by title, date, or author. The site started in 2003 by offering free, full-text versions of classic literary works from hundreds of celebrated authors, whose biographies, images, and famous quotations can also be found on the site. The Free Library is a product of Farlex, Inc. is an independent, privately held company based in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.

URL: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL LIBRARIES

David Norby, Ph.D. [Abbott Labs, Chicago, Illinois], my former colleague and later boss when I ran a library for an enzymology research firm, pointed out an article by Michael Anft—Of Byes and Books and Databases, Johns Hopkins Arts & Sciences Magazine Online 5(1), Fall/Winter 2007. The article tells of how the dean of libraries at JHU, Winston Tabb, is “partnering with scholars to dramatically advance the way research is done…in [his] quest to create the library of the future.” In his email, he added the following, which I think is very amazing for a library user to come up with.

“I couldn't help but think that there must be tens of thousands of special-interest areas of knowledge where the resources to support those interests are widely spread around the country/world.

“Small libraries and their (librarians) could distinguish themselves, establishing a unique and enhanced-value reputation by becoming the repository and/or clearinghouse for information and resources related to one or a few of those special areas of interest. The collection would take on extra value if it is associated with a local commercial specialty (for example, the town in California that has the annual garlic festival might at its local public library make a focus of developing an internet accessible database for all things garlic, and the Hinckley public Library near Cleveland could specialize in buzzards, and Punxsutawney Pennsylvania's library could specialize in groundhogs and/or mythology related to weather).”


URL: http://www.krieger.jhu.edu/magazine/fw07/f1.html

THE 10 THINGS COLLEGE STUDENTS DON’T KNOW ABOUT MARKETING

Carol Phillips wrote a cute (and true) article for Advertising Age titled, Millennials: Clued in or Clueless? Four examples: The average household income does not support a cleaning lady (or an iPhone); Facebook is an advertising-supported, commercial service; Retailers, not manufacturers, set the price; and Brands influence buying behavior. Each comes with more on how the millennials think and the implications for marketers.

URL: http://adage.com/cmostrategy/article?article_id=122041

SIGNS TO EMULATE

Librarian Woes has a post with five great “NO” signs. They promote cooperation with library rules by using humor.

URL: http://librarianwoes.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/signage-fun/

NEW LIBRARY COMIC STRIP TO FOLLOW

I just came across On a Claire Day, by Carla Ventresca and Henry Beckett. The heroine is a new librarian and we get to watch her grow up and in the job. She’s a public librarian, but the humor is universal.

URL: http://www.onaclaireday.com

29 November 2007

NEW EDITION OF ESSENTIAL NURSING RESOURCES

The 24th edition of the ICIRN Essential Nursing Resources list (formerly Essential Nursing References), edited by Susan Kaplan Jacobs and Ysabel Bertolucci “is presented as a resource for locating nursing information and for collection development. The list includes print, multimedia, and electronic sources to support nursing practice, education, administration, and research activities. The most recent editions or websites available are included. The list was compiled to point to pathways for exploration, rather than be an end point, and to expand to multiple formats beyond traditional references.” Some of the resources require a paid subscription.

Contents: (*) indicates new
Meta-sites for nursing information

*Alerting services/blogs/RSS feeds, including forums and electronic discussion lists (formerly Current Awareness)

Archives

Audiovisuals

Bibliographies/book lists

Bioethics

Complementary/alternative medicine

*Consumer health/patient education

Databases and indexes, including core nursing and health care, related/specialized, and evidence-based

Dictionaries

Drugs, toxicology, environmental, and occupational health

Education/career information

Grants resources
History of nursing
*Informatics

*Patient safety

*Public health/disaster preparedness

Statistics

Writers’ manuals and guides

URLs:
Open access PDF version (Nursing Education Perspectives 28(5):276-285, 2007), http://nln.allenpress.com/pdfserv/i1536-5026-028-05-0276.pdf

Open access HTML version, http://homepages.nyu.edu/~skj1/essentialnursingresources2007.html

28 November 2007

USING INTERESTING ITEMS AS AN ANNUAL OUTREACH TOOL

Brian Mathews [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA] has a great idea on his blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian. At the end of the year, why not create a top 10 list of “interesting” or “important” items—tailored to your customers. You could put the URL and a short annotation—such as why you chose the item. Some ideas: |who won major awards in the field? what are people blogging about? what should everyone know about? And don’t just post it in the library—drop it off in their offices, send it along with books they request, email it, or leave it in the break room. Make it look good! (one page, photos, bright colors). If your customers fall into different disciplines—make different handouts for each not just a generic top 10. Yes, this might take some time, but think how it can make you look relevant and useful.


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

ubiquitous_librarian/2007/11/using-interesti.html

NEW! PHOTOS FROM SOUTH AFRICA

If you look at the right sidebar, just under the "About" section, you will find something new--photos from our trip to Cape Town, South Africa a few years ago. Blogger has a new slide show feature, so I can add these to the blog. I'll change the photos every once in a while, so keep reading the blog!

21 November 2007

US LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS

“METAVID is a project which seeks to capture, stream, archive and facilitate real-time collective (re)mediation of legislative proceedings.” Only in the development stage, this free and open source service is hosted by the University of California at Santa Cruz, but there is information there already. You can search the archives now, follow their blog, and read their wiki and FAQ pages. Video files include closed caption text.

URL: http://metavid.ucsc.edu
Blog: http://metavid.ucsc.edu/blog/
Wiki: http://metavid.ucsc.edu/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

NEW RESOURCES FROM (US) NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO

You can now receive news and information from NPR through RSS feeds. News feeds available are: top stories, arts and culture, business, health and science, opinion, people and places, politics and society, U.S. news, and world news. Program feeds are: All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Day to Day, Talk of the Nation, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, News and Notes, Tell Me More, Weekend Edition (both Saturday and Sunday), World CafĂ©, and From the Top. There are also topic feeds (for instance, authors, books, environment, music—various types, politics, sports, etc.) and links to feeds from selected member stations. What a great resource!

Also from NPR is NPR Music, “a free, multi-genre Web site that presents the best of public radio music.” It is a collaboration with 12 public radio stations. They also have a Flash-based media player. Sections include live concerts, studio sessions, interviews and profiles, and song of the day. You can also browse by artist or limit yourself to just one genre (rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz & blues, world, and urban).

There’s more, too. Subscribe to one of their music newsletters: Song of the Day, Music Notes, and All Songs Considered.

URLs:
RSS Feeds: http://www.npr.org/rss/

Sign up for music newsletters: http://www.npr.org/help/general/new_features_20071104.html

NPR Music home page: http://www.npr.org/music/

TOP 100 MAC APPLICATIONS

For those of you using the “other” computer, Chris Pirillo (a well-respected Mac expert) has compiled a list of his top 100 Mac applications. There’s also a list of honorable mentions. Both lists have links to the actual site. He is planning to add coupons and/or exclusive pricing for any commercial applications.

URL: http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/11/06/top-100-mac-apps/

20 November 2007

TWO GREAT MARKETING RESOURCES


PROQUEST MARKETING TOOLKIT FOR ACADEMIC LIBRARIES

Last year ProQuest introduced a marketing toolkit for public libraries—now there’s one for academic libraries. There is “how-to” advice on marketing your library’s online resources, from Beth Dempsey, library marketing expert, speaker, and author; database descriptions that speak “patron” rather than library language; customizable promotional flier, advertisement, poster, press release and radio script; and a digital “commercial” that can be downloaded to the library’s homepage.

The Library Marketing Toolkit was recently mailed to academic libraries across the United States and is available as a free download at http://www.il.proquest.com/division/libraryadvocacy.shtml.


LIBRARY WEBSITE BEST PRACTICES AND RESOURCES

Marylaine Block presented Beyond the Basics: Making the Most of Your Library Website to the Arizona Library Association on 14 November 2007. She has graciously posted many of the examples and resources on her website. Included are: examples of good, user-centered design; use of prime display area for most important content from the users’ point of view; use of movement or animation; library terms that users understand; show off the physical library on your web site (on your main page, with virtual tours, with webcams); put your users in the picture; new site announcement services; library-created databases, digital text collections, topical guides, tutorials, voter guides and community issue guides; building projects: annual reports; strategic plans, surveys made public; blogs; RSS feeds, wikis, invitations to comment or add content; interactive quizzes, online contests and discussions; use of IM or text messaging; personalized portals and other services; toolbars; going where your customers are; websites for specific groups (kids, teens, teachers, parents, seniors; podcasts and videocasts; and other resources on library website design.


Believe me, you won’t find this many links on website design in any other place—at least not for free. Thank you so much Marylaine.


URL: http://marylaine.com/libsite.html

18 November 2007

PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENTS DATABASE


Library Boy
blogger Michel-Adrien Sheppard [Supreme Court of Canada, Ottawa] (http://micheladrien.blogspot.com/) called my attention to this database. Its goal is to "provide the text-searchable electronic versions of all the Custom Unions, Free Trade Agreements, and Preferential Arrangements that have been notified to the World Trade Organization's Committee on Regional Trade Agreements, and are in force, plus many that have not been notified to the WTO". The Faculty of Law at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) maintains the website.

URL: http://ptas.mcgill.ca/

BRITISH MUSEUM COLLECTION DATABASE


The British Museum has released the first section of what will be a record of every object in their collection. Up now are records for the collection of two-dimensional works (almost entirely drawings, prints and paintings) from all over the world. New records and images are being added every week, but since the entire database contains records for nearly 1.7 million objects, it may take many years for it to be complete. Available information includes object type, material, technique, who created the item, date, school, a description, and in some cases a photograph. Also available will be thesauri and authority files for materials, techniques and place-names. Not included are prices paid and personal addresses.


URL: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_

collection_database.aspx

16 November 2007

MEDICINE AND ADVERTISING: AN ODD COUPLE


Medicine and Madison Avenue is a neat website from the (US) National Humanities Center and Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, USA). It “presents images and database information for approximately 600 health-related [print] advertisements.” Categories include household products, over-the-counter drugs, personal and oral hygiene, vitamins/tonics/food/nutrition/diet aids; institutional and pharmaceutical; cigarette ad; and supplementary documents such as documents from J. Walter Thompson (an advertising agency), the American Medical Association, popular magazines, advertising press guidelines, Federal Trade Commission documents, and radio scripts. There’s also a timeline overview of significant medical and advertising events from the 1840s to the 1960s. Very specialized, but interesting. You could probably use some of it to promote programs on specific topics.


URL: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/mma/

FOUR INTERESTING NEW WEBSITES


UNDERSTANDING PARLIAMENT?!
The UK Parliament now has a website with a glossary—“Parliamentary jargon explained.” Absolutely fascinating.
URL: http://www.parliament.uk/about/glossary.cfm


MAPS OF THE WORLD
This site has maps of almost anything you could want: cruises, honeymoon destinations, time zones, cities, USA state symbols, earthquakes, etc.
URL: http://www.mapsofworld.com/


COUNTRY PROFILES, FROM A CANADIAN VIEWPOINT

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has published cultural profiles of over 100 countries that have sent immigrants to
Canada. It “provides an overview of life and customs in the profiled country…and the customs described may not apply in equal measures to all newcomers form the profiled country.” These are fine, but I prefer the CultureGrams, published by ProQuest. Originally written by Brigham Young University, they are “concise, reliable, and up-to-date reports on more than 200 countries, each U.S. state, and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.”
URLs:
Canadian Cultural Profiles:
http://www.cp-pc.ca/
CultureGrams:
http://www.culturegrams.com/


GREEN SEARCH ENGINE
Greener
is designed to “find green products, services, organizations, information” in over 9 million pages. There is no sign of who put the site up, so I’m a bit leery of it.
URL:
http://greener.com/

15 November 2007

GREAT FIREFOX EXTENSION


Read it Later (beta) is a wonderful extension for Firefox that allows you to save pages of interest to read later. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest. I really use and like it.

“When you come across something you want to read later, simply click the ‘Read Later’ button and the page is instantly inserted into your reading list. Then when you have some free time, just click ‘Reading List’ and it’ll randomly pull up something for you to read (or you can choose which article to read). When you are finished, click Mark it As Read and it will be removed from your list. If you found what you read to be worth bookmarking, you can use the dropdown under Mark it As Read to add it to your Firefox bookmarks or any online bookmark service such as Del.icio.us.”


URL: http://www.ideashower.com/ideas/active/read-it-later

FREE US COURTS OF APPEALS AND SUPREME COURT COMING SOON

Public.Resource.Org and Fastcase, Inc. will release a large and free archive of US federal case law, including all Courts of Appeals decisions from 1950 to the present and all Supreme Court decisions since 1754. The archive will be public domain and usable by anyone for any purpose. You can find more information at http://onward.justia.com/
useful-tools-web-sites-195-free-courts-of-appeals-decisions-
from-1950-and-all-us-supreme-court-decisions-since-1754-
coming-soon.html

14 November 2007

A NEW WIKI FOR PHYSICIANS

WiserWiki “is a wiki that will allow accredited physicians to comment, collaborate and update medical information online and is viewable by everyone. The site was originally seeded with content from John Noble’s Textbook of Primary Care Medicine (3rd Edition). In answer to the question, What is the purpose of this site? the site says, “We hope to provide a trusted forum for physicians to collaborate and contribute professional-level medical content that can be viewable by everyone. WiserWiki is one example of our commitment to explore innovative tools to help medical professionals access the most up-to-date medical information available. As of now, the site is still in ‘Beta mode’ as we test new ways to make it better for you as a user!”


There are ads, but it looks interesting.



URL: http://www.wiserwiki.com/Main_Page

WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND--BOOKS REDUX

“Why Bother Studying Book Use at All? Patrons Want Everything on the Internet”

“There was a time when libraries installed radios in reading rooms and turned them on for important events such as presidential speeches. As radios became common household items, that practice disappeared. We suspect that patron use of the Internet in libraries may be a similar phenomenon. Laptop computers with wireless Internet connections are now common, and it may not be too many years before a home without a fast Internet connection is as unusual as one without a radio. When that day comes, libraries (while still being a supplier of online materials) had better be prepared to meet the demand for what is still our most popular item: books.”

Greiner, Tony and Bob Cooper, Analyzing Library Collection Use with Excel©, Chicago: American Library Association, 2007, ISBN 978-0-8389-0933-1, US$40.00 (ALA members $36.00), pp. 6-7.

08 November 2007

PROMOTIONAL IDEAS


These two are great articles about librarians and change, with good ideas for physical changes.

Johnson, Tim, The new libraries, University Affairs, December 2007, http://www.universityaffairs.ca/issues/2007/december/new_
librarians_01.html

Hume, Christopher, Librarians at the gate, Toronto Star, 3 November 2007, http://www.thestar.com/News/article/273124


At first glance this one seems frivolous, but it is full of great promotional ideas.

Block, Marylaine, Librarians: The Party People, http://marylaine.com/party.html

FACULTY WANT ONLINE, NOT PRINT

Faculty members overwhelmingly prefer using online material to printed material, according to the results of a survey released this week by Ebrary, a company that provides electronic content and technology to libraries, publishers, and other businesses. The survey shows that half of faculty members prefer electronic resources, and 18 percent prefer print. Another 32 percent said they had no preference. The results were based on responses of 906 faculty members from 300 colleges and 38 countries.


From an article by Andrea L. Foster in The Wired Campus (an online feed from The Chronicle of Higher Education), 8 November 2007. If you are in an academic library, you really should be getting The Wired Campus via RSS feed or email every day. There’s great stuff in it.



URLs:

The full article: http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2531

Register to read the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?

sm=PgvLHSl_2fYAN_2fsblRBJYqqg_3d_3d


07 November 2007

HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION

“HuriSearch is the only comprehensive search engine specialised in human rights information. It targets persons working with or interested in human rights, who need powerful search tools to access up-to-date and relevant information including: human rights monitors and researchers, students and academics, diplomats and persons working in international organisations, politicians and journalists.”
There is direct access to the content of over 3000 human rights websites, with over three million indexed pages. It crawls every 24 hours for the Intergovernmental Organisations, National Human Rights Institutions, and Academic Institutions and every 8 days for the NGO collection. You can search by language, by organisation, or by country. The site “guarantees” that it is completely independent from political or commercial interests.

URL: http://www.hurisearch.org/

LIBRARIANS AT THE GATE

"Cities worldwide are investing in libraries as never before, hoping for that `Bilbao effect,’ the kind of civic shot in the arm only an ambitious building can provide. In its modest way, Toronto is no exception.”
This is an excerpt from a neat article by Christopher Hume (Urban Affairs Columnist) in the Toronto Star.

URL: http://www.thestar.com/News/article/273124

CREATE AN RSS FEED WHEN THERE ISN'T ONE

If the web page you want to follow doesn’t have an RSS feed, use Page2RSS to create one. You can even add a button to your browser to make it easier. It works on either Internet Explorer or Firefox, too.

(I found this on the Librarian in Black blog, which does have an RSS feed.)


URL:
http://page2rss.com/

03 November 2007

HELP FOR PARENTS OR LIBRARIANS HELPING PARENTS

Parent Hacks: Daily parenting tips from the real experts—actual parents explains itself as providing “everything that was left out of the instruction manual. Oh Yeah. There is no instruction manual.” This collaborative site is read by over 20,000 people via email or you can subscribe to its RSS feed. I’m not a parent (except for two cats), but it looks like there are some very helpful tips here.

URL: http://www.parenthacks.com

A SEARCHABLE ONLINE BIBLE

BibleGateway.com has the entire content of the Bible, searchable, and in multiple versions (the default is the New International Version). There’s also the verse of the day, contests, tutorials, and a “listen to the Bible” feature. From Gospelcom.net. Very simple to use and very useful.

URL: http://www.biblegateway.com

WEB 2.0 FOR IDIOTS

Valleywag, which bills itself as “Silicon Valley’s Tech Gossip Rag,” has a great post—Web 2.0 for Idiots. It starts with Tim O’Reilly’s attempt to simplify Web 2.0 and ends with “what I think is the minimum for Mom” (or anyone else). It is a graphic that simply says: “Web 1.0—They make it for you; Web 2.0—You help make it.” Great!

URL: http://valleywag.com/tech/web-2%270-to-english/
web-20-for-idiots-317835.php

30 October 2007

WHAT’S AN MLIS WORTH? STATISTICS FROM LIBRARY JOURNAL

Library Journal (15 October 2007) has published its annual look at placements and salaries for US library school graduates. Here are some of the more interesting statistics.

Only 45 of the 62 library schools, with a total of 1,992 graduates, participated in the survey. Sixty-five percent of the graduates were placed in permanent professional jobs, 8 percent in temporary professional jobs, 9 percent in non-professional jobs, and 9 percent outside of the profession. However, in another table, there was a total of 5355 graduates, 4186 women (78 percent) and 1149 men. Thirty-three percent were employed, 2 percent were unemployed, and less than 1 percent were pursuing further education.

Mean salaries were US$40,566 for women, US$43,194 for men, and US$41,040 overall.

Thirty-three percent were employed in public libraries, 15 percent in schools, 26 percent in academic institutions, 7 percent in special libraries, and 2 percent in government. Three percent of the 1425 listed by job assignment identified themselves as solo librarians, with a mean salary of US$39,550, about 4 percent below the national average. (The salary range was US$18,00-74,000.) The library schools with the largest number of placements in special libraries are Simmons University (22, 17 percent of all SL placements) and San Jose State University (14, 11 percent).

RSS FEEDS FROM HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

You can now subscribe to feeds from leaders in management from the Harvard Business Review. Some of the luminaries are: Gary Hamel on The Future of Management, Tony Mayo on 21st Century Leadership, Tom Davenport on The Next Big Thing, John Quelch on Marketing KnowHow, and, saving the best for last, Larry Prusak on books that you must read—Now Read This! What a great resource!

URL: http://discussionleader.hbsp.com

22 October 2007

TIPS FOR MOVING FROM ONE SECTOR OF LIBRARIANSHIP TO ANOTHER

Fiona Bradley [University of Technology, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia] has a great post on librariesinteract.info: Blog central for Australian libraries. In How-to: Change Library Sectors, Bradley gives five tips for librarians looking to move between corporate, government, public, law or academic library sectors.”

1. Study your chosen sector

2. Perform a [personal] skills audit

3. Study the skill set [for the sector you want to move to]

4. Create opportunities [for yourself]

5. Participate in associations and networks

While you're there, look at their list of Australian library blogs.


URL: http://librariesinteract.info/2007/10/22/how-to-change-library-sectors/

WHAT WOULD THE WORLD LOOK LIKE IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE ME?

This is the question asked by Consumer Consequences, from American Public Media. Take the quiz to determine your (or your family’s) impact on the environment. It is interesting, informative, and—at least for me—a bit frightening.

URL: http://sustainability.publicradio.org/consumerconsequences/

INTERVIEW WITH UNSHELVED’S CREATOR

If you are a fan of Unshelved, the great library comic, you must read this interview on Comic Book Resources. If you aren’t a fan, then you must not know about this daily comic based at the Mallville Public Library and starring Dewey, the irreverent young adult librarian. You can enjoy it even if you don’t work in a public library. Follow it either by email or RSS feed.

URLs:
Interview: http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=12150
Unshelved
: http://www.unshelved.com/Default.aspx

LIBRARYLAND BLOGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

Blogging for a Good Book: A suggestion a day from the Williamsburg Regional Library, http://bfgb.wordpress.com/ This is an idea any library could put into practice. The Virginia library posts a few paragraphs on a book every day (you could do it weekly). Many are oldies but goodies, like Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey. They even include videos and a link to the library catalog. A great, easily implemented idea to keep the library in front of its customers.


025.431: The Dewey Blog: Everything you always wanted to know about the Dewey Decimal Classification© system but were afraid to ask, http://ddc.typepad.com/ From Jonathan Furner, assistant editor of the DDC, with contributions from other members of the Dewey editorial team, this blog is exactly what its name says—more than you ever wanted to know about the DDC. Often there is a post taken from the headlines, with the information you need to know to assign the correct Dewey number. This is great if you do your own cataloging.


CaseCheck™, http://www.casecheck.co.uk/ This is “the best way for you to keep up to date with the law and business of law—at least in Scotland. Free registration allows you access to case summaries and articles from Scottish Courts and the EAT (Employment Appeal Tribunal). You can also comment on the summaries, “creating a community based resource where everyone can have the opportunity of demonstrating the knowledge and skill in their [sic] area of law.” Interesting concept—if you use it, let me know how you like it.

18 October 2007

WHAT I’VE BEEN READING RECENTLY

Here are just a few of the articles I’ve found recently that you might want to look at.

Using Our Own Services,
by Wayne Bivens-Tatum [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA], Academic Librarian, 9 October 2007, http://blogs.princeton.edu/librarian/
2007/10/using_our_own_services.html
Excerpt: “Librarians would probably be better librarians if the occasionally used the library as a non-librarian. It’s very easy to become library-centric and to think the library is the most important institution on campus.”

The Future of Reference in Special Libraries is What Information Pros Can Make It, by Stephen Abram [SirsiDynix, Toronto, Ontario, Canada], Information Outlook 11(10):35-36, October 2007. Abram lists 8 possible scenarios for the future: from “Status Quo: A Recipe for Fossilization” to “Extreme Reference: Emergency Librarian.” A must-read for all librarians.

Practicing the Fine Art of Paying Attention, by John Latham [Special Libraries Association, Arlington, Virginia, USA], Information Outlook 11(10):44, October 2007.
Excerpt: “In this age of multitasking we often forget that giving someone your undivided attention is a good habit to acquire. It may be stating the obvious, but listening is still cool.”

Librarians: Too Traditional?
by Francine Fialkoff [Editor-in-Chief], Library Journal 132(6):8, 1 October 2007.
Excerpt: “We still need to convince many younger librarians to stay in the field for the long haul. We have about a decade or so before we’ll start seeing the effects if we don’t. As the pace of technological and social change accelerates, we need those innovators and risk-takers in our libraries. So, if you’re one of those who holds the reins of tradition too tightly, loosen up.”

Great Work, Genuine Problems
, by John N. Berry III [Editor at Large], Library Journal 132(6):26-29, 1 October 2007. This is the first of a three-part report on job satisfaction of librarians. Mostly, we like our jobs, but they could be a lot better if a few things were improved (pay, status, flexibility, managers, for a start). This is also a must-read. (If you aren’t a subscriber, check with your local public library—they probably get it and will loan it to you long enough to photocopy this article.)

Web 2.0 Alphabet: Part I
, by Shirley Duglin Kennedy [MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, USA and St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA] , Information Today24(9):17, 19. This is a neat way to learn about Web 2.0 tools.

INNOVATION BLOG

“The Innovation Weblog is a meta-index of the latest innovation trends, news, technology, resources and viewpoints. It covers topics including innovation research and best practices and strategies, innovation management, business use of Weblogs for ideation and collaboration, and much more! This blog is updated frequently, so be sure to check back here often for the latest updates.” It comes from Chuck Frey (“a creative thinker with 20+ years of experience in PR, marketing, business strategy and information services.”) Looks interesting.

URL: http://www.innovationtools.com/weblog/innovation-weblog.asp

INTERNATIONAL DISASTER DATABASE

Since 1988 the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) has been maintaining an Emergency Events Database—EM-DAT. EM-DAT was created with the initial support of the WHO and the Belgian Government. You can search profiles of countries or disasters, either natural or technological (industrial or transport) or disaster lists (by location, time frame, and disaster). There are also links to a Bibliography database, a Complex emergency database, and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters website.

URL: http://www.em-dat.net/


LIBRARY FUNNIES

Stephen Abram [SirsiDynix, Toronto, Ontario, Canada] posted a list of five library-oriented cartoons. If you aren’t getting them, try one or two.

1. Unshelved, http://unshelved.com It is written by a real librarian and, although set in the Mallville Public Library, can be appreciated by all librarians. I really love it.

2. Shelf Check, http://shelfcheck.blogspot.com As Abram says, “edgy and timely.”

3. Turn the Page, http://librarycartoons.blogspot.com Newer, not daily, but “skewed” and great fun.

4. bLaugh, http://blaugh.com For bloggers.--and others.

5. User Friendly, http://www.userfriendly.org/. “Is a daily strip with a great cast of characters from the programming and help desk work of software development.” I haven’t see it yet (but will), but Abram’s recommendation is good enough for me.



URL: http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/archives/

2007/10/library_humour.html

10 October 2007

KEEP UP WITH COPYRIGHT

The US Copyright Office has three new free email newsletters: What’s New at the Copyright Office, Licensing, and Legislative Developments.

URLs:
Announcement: http://www.copyright.gov/newsnet/2007/323.html
To subscribe: http://service.govdelivery.com/service/multi_subscribe.html?
code=USLOC&origin=http://www.copyright.gov

NEW, USEFUL MEDICAL SEARCH ENGINE

Microsoft has introduced Health Vault, its new consumer health search engine. As usual, I tested it with one my own conditions, “small fiber peripheral neuropathy.” I was amazed at the number and quality of resources found. (I usually get just one or two when I qualify it with “small fiber.”)
Results are from all sorts of sources: Wikipedia, answers.com, Medscape, medical journals, news articles, and more. There are also related books on Amazon, several of which I will get and read. And there are some pretty-well focused ads, too.
PLUS, you can save the search and specific articles in your own “vault,” which is supposedly secure and confidential. A nice touch—better than bookmarking.
I really like this site—let me know if you do, too.

URL: http://health.live.com/

KEEPING UP

Check out Nina Platt's great post on Strategic Librarian. She lists great sources for keeping up with the library world.

URL: http://nlplatt.wordpress.com/2007/10/10/
keeping-up-personal-current-awareness/

GET ORGANIZED! A GUIDE FOR DEALING WITH INFORMATION OVERLOAD

Ellyssa Kroski [Columbia University, New York, New York, USA] has a wonderful post on iLibrarian listing articles on information overload, organization, and productivity. Here are the titles—check out the full post for the links.

Organization/Info Overload: 20 Great Tools to Keep Your Life Organized, Master Your Information Manifesto: 21 Tips to Deal with Info Overload, Eight steps to thriving on information overload, Key to Organization: The Habit of Now, Get your life back: Organise your brain, Get Organized: Keep All Your Information in One Place, Too Much Information: Take back your attention span

Productivity: Cut the Fat to Get to Lean Productivity, Get productive with the best Facebook Apps, 15 iGoogle Gadgets for Web Worker Productivity, 25 To Do Lists to Stay Productive


URL: http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/2007/get-organized-
a-guide-for-dealing-with-information-overload/

(this one linked...go figure...)



IMPROVE YOUR BLOG

Entrepreneur Raj Dash lists 41 Reasons Why Your Blog Probably Sucks on his blog, Performancing. I don’t agree with all 41, but if you’re serious about blogging you should at least look them over.

URL: http://performancing.com/41-reasons-why-your-blog-probably-sucks-common-blogging-mistakes

(for some reason Blogger isn't linking today--so type away...)



WEB AND BLOG DESIGN TIPS


Vandelay Website Design & Blog Customization [Savannah, Georgia, USA] has a great website, Vandelaydesign (http://www.vandelaydesign.com/blog). Here are some ideas from two of their recent posts. Be sure to read the originals for even more ideas.


13 Ways to Create Unique, Original Blog Content,
http://www.vandelaydesign.com/blog/blogging/13-ways-to-create-
unique-original-blog-content/

1. Be Independent: Sometimes you may be able to put a new spin on an old subject, but your most creative ideas are unlikely to come from other blogs.
2. Get Personal: One of the reasons there is so much repetitive content in the make-money-blogging niche is that a lot of people write about what they read from others, rather than writing from their own experiences.
3. Brainstorm: It’s one of the most effective ways to create your own ideas and stand out.
4. Keep a Journal: An idea journal is ideal because it gives you one place to keep all of your ideas and incomplete thoughts and projects.
5. Keep an Open Mind: Don’t eliminate an idea for a potential blog post if it doesn’t come together right away.
6. Take a Stand: Try writing from a perspective that doesn’t go along with everyone else, and you’re guaranteed to be more unique than the others.
7. Expand: Occasionally go back through your archives and look for posts that could be the staring block for new and separate ideas, or look for those that lend themselves to be updated.
8. Dig Deeper: Write about a little-known aspect of something that is covered a lot.
9. Know Your Subject: Without substantial knowledge, all you will be able to write about is basic information.
10. Solve Problems: Focus on solving the problems of your readers. If you can provide that solution you’ll be the first to do so, and they’ll remember you.
11. Act Quickly: Don’t sit on your best ideas, someone else may beat you to the punch.
12. Plan Ahead: This will give you the time you need to make sure that your content is unique before it is published.
13. Give Yourself Some Freedom: Don’t put yourself in a box as far as what topics you can and can’t write about.


What Makes Good Blog Design?
http://www.vandelaydesign.com/blog/design/what-makes-
good-blog-design/

1. Content Should be the Focus: Simplicity is common for blogs that want to emphasize the content.
2. Ease of Navigation: Readers will come to your blog through search engines, links from other blogs, RSS feeds, social media sites, etc. This makes navigation even more important.
3. Loads Quickly: By keeping your blog clean and free of unnecessary items you can really cut down on the time it takes to load.
4. Content Start High on the Page: More of your visitors will pay attention to your articles if they start higher on the page… they’ll be more prone to scroll down for the rest.
5. Memorable for Visitors: Make it easy for your visitors to remember your blog and standout from all of the free themes by customizing a theme yourself, or by having a blog theme professionally designed.
6. Not Overrun with Ads: Your readers will feel like they are not a priority to you if advertisements take center stage.
7. Compatibility with Multiple Browsers: In order to know that you blog is functioning well you’ll need to test it in multiple browsers.
8. Good Use of Color: The best designs effectively use color to improve the appearance. Check out the resources listed in Find the Perfect Colors for Your Website.
(http://www.vandelaydesign.com/blog/design/find-the-perfect-
colors-for-your-website/
)
9. Easy to Read: Use headlines, white space, lists, and bold text to make it easy for readers.
10. Important Items Should Be in Prominent Positions: The most important links, images, etc. should generally go above the fold so that visitors will see them right away.