23 May 2007


Check out Koolwire for a free file conversion service via e-mail. I just tried it and it returned the file in only about 5 minutes--perfect .doc to .pdf.

URL: http://www.koolwire.com/

22 May 2007


SugarStats is a beta-site that "makes it simple to easily manage, monitor and share your blood sugar glucose levels online so that you can better control your diabetes anywhere. Built by diabetics for diabetics." (No sign of who they are, tho.) This looks like it will be a good tool when it comes out of beta. Keep watching.

URL: http://www.sugarstats.com


Andrew Finegan [Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia] has a neat video on the subject of the future of the library. I am collecting the written ones in the series and will print them at some point--or will blog them, not sure which.


21 May 2007


Tyler Rousseau [Ocean County Library, Toms River, New Jersey] has a great post on Library Garden, titled Teen Librarians: Who we are and what we are not. It is worth a read for all public librarians.

URL: http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/2007/05/

20 May 2007


You may not have seen, or forgotten about, this absolutely fantastic site from the (USA) National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Here is an outline of what’s covered. You can’t go wrong following their advice.
First Steps: Here's a short list of tasks that can give you a quick overview of your new responsibilities.
Administration: Mission Statement, Management, Customer Service and Marketing, JCAHO, Grants and Funding, Technology, and Supplies.
Collection Development and ILL: Books, Reference Resources, Journals, Subscription Agents, Consumer Health, Publishers, Cataloging, Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan, Copyright Law and Guidelines.
Resources: Medical Databases, Meeting Finders, Internet Resources, and Discussion Lists.
Sources of Information: Associations, Consortia, and Libraries.
Additional Resources: Links to books, articles and full-text web sites about Library Management, Marketing, Budget, and Periodicals for Librarians.

URL: http://nnlm.gov/rsdd/management/


Here are two great sites for information on distance education programs in the USA for the MLS degree. Both are from the Central (New) Jersey Regional Library Cooperative and their “Become a Librarian” initiative.

Comparison Guide (costs, credits, residency requirements, contacts):


Read about the Experiences Librarians Had While Getting their MLS through Distance Education Programs: http://www.becomealibrarian.org/DistanceEdExperience.htm


DermLectures.com plans to collect about 300 lectures on various dermatological lectures. Twelve categories are now completed; fifteen more are “coming soon.” Lectures are available in Quicktime and Windows Media Player formats; Quicktime format is recommended. Unfortunately, there is no sign of who is behind the site.

URL: http://dermlectures.com

18 May 2007


Hosted by the Alban Institute, offered as a gift to congregations by the Lilly Endowment, the Congregational Resource Guide draws on the expertise of the Alban Institute, the Indianapolis Center for Congregations, and other specialists. The site has all sorts of articles and tips, including online tutorials and special reports.

URL: http://congregationalresources.org/


I have often spoken about The Church and Synagogue Library Association as a great source of ideas for all small libraries. The current issue of their journal, Congregational Libraries Today, is a great example of why you should consider joining CSLA even (or especially) if you don’t work in a congregational library.

Consider the following articles:
How to automate your library without spending any money: open source software is creating new opportunities for libraries, even for those of us with little or no money to spend, by Myka Kennedy Stephens, pp. 2-4. (sound like a familiar problem?)
What’s the best way to handle overdue charges? The answer desk, p. 4
Use a “memorial book sale” to enlarge you collection, Proven Ideas column, p. 25
Citation for all: Congregational Libraries Today 40(4): May/June 2007

Also, there are some great sessions at their annual conference, 14-17 July, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Creating stronger library newsletters, Visual ways to promote your library, Incorporating generations in your library, Ten steps to automating your library, Basic book care and repair, Evaluating library information software, Weeding is good for the soul, and Using the Web to better manage your library. All this for US$295, including all meals ($120 without meals).

Membership in CSLA is only $US35!!! A real bargain.

URL: http://cslainfo.org/

13 May 2007


I forgot to tell you about another great article in MLS: Marketing Library Services . It is by Julia Cooper [marketing consultant, Columbus, Ohio, USA] and is titled How to Evaluate Your Library's Physical Environment. She writes,"This is an opportunity to rediscover what your facility is communicating and to enhance the environment." She also has Ten Simple Tips to Spruce Up for Spring. This is an article very worth reading!

Cooper, Julia, How to Evaluate Your Library's Physical Environment, MLS: Marketing Library Services 21(3):1,5-7, May/June 2007.

11 May 2007


Christie Koontz [Florida State University, Tallahassee] has written a wonderful article on customer-based marketing, Identifying and Utilizing Library Stakeholders, in MLS: Marketing Library Services (21(3): 8-10, May/June 2007). To quote, “library managers might not recognize a potentially valuable ally—or, more dangerously, someone who might be a key adversary.” I especially like the table she includes with a list of various stakeholders (taxpayers, users, potential users, staff, school board, funding agencies, and media), their interests, and potential conflicts with the library’s interests. The article is not online, but it is well worth reading—so go to your local library and ask for it (or ILL it).


This blog is the Division’s “forum for sharing leadership and management experience, tips, and resources among members,” but you can look at it even if you aren’t a member.

URL: http://sla-divisions.typepad.com/sla_lmd/


The Bioenergy Blog covers key literature on the technical aspects of biorenewable fuels (especially bioethanol and biodiesel). It comes from Gerry McKiernan [Iowa State University Library, Ames] and is a companion to the non-technical Bioeconomy Blog.

Bioenergy: http://thebioenergyblog.blogspot.com/
Bioeconomy: http://bioeconomyblog.blogspot.com/


There are three new Intute tutorials from the Institute for Learning and Research Technology, University of Bristol, UK. You can use them to show your customers how to search the Net effectively and to evaluate what they find.

Internet Physicist, http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/he/tutorial/physics

Internet Civil Engineer, http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/he/tutorial/civil

Internet for Petroleum and Offshore Engineering, http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/he/tutorial/petroleum


The Law Professor Blogs Network has added five new blogs. This makes 49 in total!

Administrative Law, from Drury Stevenson [University of South Texas, Houston] and Cynthia Quinn [University of Hawaii, Manoa], http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adminlaw/

Civil Procedure, Jeremy Counseller and Rory Ryan [Baylor University, Waco, Texas], http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civpro/

International Environmental Law, William Burns [Santa Clara University, California] and Richard Caddel [University of Wales, Bangor, UK], http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/intlenvironment/

M&A Law, Steven Davidoff [Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan], http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mergers/
Poverty Law, Ezra Rosser [Washington (DC) College of Law] and Lowell Hull [Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana], http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/poverty/


libSite.org is almost like a wiki of library websites and blogs and such. Once you register, you can recommend sites and the owners of the site will put a screenshot and your recommendation up for all to see. Even if you don’t register, you can rate other people’s sites, save sites to favorites, subscribe via RSS, or download a libsite widget. It’s only a month old, but looks interesting. Provided by chicagolibrarian.com (Leo Klein).

URL: http://libsite.org/

05 May 2007


I seem to have missed the 11th Annual Webby Awards. David Bowie (does anyone know why?) and eBay received Lifetime Achievement Awards, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, co-founders of YouTube, were the Person(s) of the Year.

In the law category, LawHelp.org (http://www.lawhelp.org/) was the Webby Award Winner and FindLaw (http://www.findlaw.com) was the People’s Voice Winner. For health, That Guy (http://thatguy.com), Webby Award--Lord knows why; WebMD, (http://www.webmd.com). Complete results are at: http://www.webbyawards.com/

Thanks to lo-fi librarian (http://www.lo-fi-librarian.co.uk) for the heads up.


According to consulting firm Intendance, the best and worst web sites (of the 50 fastest growing UK law firms) were:

1. Addleshaw Goddard, http://www.addleshawgoddard.co.uk/

2. Wragge & Co., http://www.wragge.com/

3. Maclay Murray & Spens, http://www.mms.co.uk/

4. Linklaters, http://www.linklaters.com/locations/uk/english/

5. SJ Berwin, http://www.sjberwin.com/

Information from lo-fi librarian (http://www.lo-fi-librarian.co.uk/?p=545). Thanks, lo-fi

04 May 2007


Brian Mathews of Georgia Tech University has a great post on his blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian, that would be a good marketing vehicle for your library—no matter what kind it is. The title is Chicken Wings and Egg Rolls: The Library Menu Concept and here is an excerpt. Be sure to look at the post and see the actual menu that was created.

“I constantly get menus from local restaurants that want to deliver food to my apartment. I used to just toss them out, but now I collect them. I’ve become fascinated with appetizers and like to see the full range of possibility. Sure Pizza is the core, but tell me about the wings, the cheese bread, and those cinnamon sticks.

“That’s how I see libraries. Collections are the core, and we need to make sure they’re fantastic, but what about all the accessories and side dishes? We have a ridiculous (but awesome) mix of stuff: cables, headsets, mics, multi-card media readers, laptops, cameras, video cameras, scanning adapters, gorillaPods, MP3 players, graphing calculators, digital voice recorders, wireless presenters w/ laser pointers, zip drives, USB drives, web cams, external DVD burners, and so on. Plus free black and white printing, color printing, large poster-sized printing. AND… most patrons (and staff for that matter) have no idea about all this cool stuff that we have to offer.

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


Consumer Health Information for You and Your Family
This site from the US Food and Drug Administration has sections on general health information,medicines, medical devices and procedures, vaccines, cosmetics, protecting yourself, food and nutrition, animal health, and radiation-emitting products (such as cell phones). You can also sign up for e-newsletters and other consumer publications. There are links to sections just for women, seniors, teens, kids, and en espanol.

Google U.S. Government Search
Here is a portal to government information, with sections from the American Forces Information Service, White House News, Government Executive, the Washington Post, and top Government stories. And, of course, there's a search feature for images, video, news, maps, etc.

And speaking of Google, try out the new personalization features for your Google page. I use mine as my home page and have included the weather, checking my Gmail and Yahoo! mail (you can check your other mail but I haven't been able to make it work), the day and time, top news, and local weather. I can even check and read my Google Reader RSS feed from the home page. Just go to http://www.google.com/ig and choose from lots of add-ins (not all from Google). I love this!


Judy O’Connell [Catholic Education Office, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia] created a wonderful presentation called Capture the 20:20 Vision for Libraries for the Annual Weekend School of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa and the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa in Nelson in April. Her slide show is available at http://www.slideshare.net/heyjudeonline/

She also has made available slides of the beautiful Broadgreen Intermediate School Learning Centre, also in Nelson, at http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/slideshow.php?id=28088. For more from O’Connell, see her blog, Hey Jude, at http://heyjude.wordpress.com

03 May 2007


Per and Susanne Koch of Pandia (Oslo, Norway) have put together a free tutorial on how to explore the Net more efficiently.” This would be a good tool to use in your classes, or at least to refer to.

From the introduction: “The main problem is not that the search engines and the search directories find too little, but that they find too much. It is hard to uncover the needle in a list of 400,000 hits. That's why Pandia brings you this short and easy search eng

ine tutorial. To get the right answer, you must ask the right question. This Web search tutorial will tell you exactly how to do that! It will take you approximately 30 minutes to read the search engine tutorial through, and you will learn the essentials of Web searching in less than an hour. By improving your searching skills you will be able to find what you are looking for faster and more efficiently. How is that for an investment?”

I think that the best parts of the tutorial are the section on error codes and Pandia's 17 Recommendations for Net Searching. They are:

1. If you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, use a search engine first. If you are looking for general information on a broader topic start with a search directory.

2. Use nouns and objects as query words.

3. Be as specific as possible.

4. If you do not find what you are looking for, search for synonyms. Use the OR operator.

5. Check your spelling! Then check it again...

6. Be aware of alternate spellings or alternative words in various forms of English.

7. Use at least two keywords in a query.

8. Use phrases enclosed by quotation marks in order to reduce the number of results.

9. Use the AND or plus operator in order to reduce the number of hits.

10. Normally use quotation marks and capitals when searching for names.

11. Consider truncating words in order to find both singular and plural versions of nouns.

12. Put the main subject first.

13. State to yourself what you want to find. You might find it useful to write it down on a piece of paper in normal language. Pick out the keywords and use them (and relevant synonyms) in your search query.

14. Do not make your queries too complicated.

15. Consider using field searching to get more relevant hits.

16. Use several search services. Not one of them covers more than a part of the Net.

17. Read the help pages.Admittedly the basic rules are the same, but the variations will affect the results of your query.

URL: http://pandia.com/goalgetter/

02 May 2007


Circulation Services is a site “to foster communication and community among Circulation and Access Services professionals. Far too often, the work performed by circulation staff is minimized by the Library community, especially the professional community.” The site is new and there isn’t much there, but it’s a great idea. It doesn’t say it, but it is a wiki. (No sign of who started it.)

URL: http://circservices.wikidot.com/start


Medical Mnemonics.com, the “world’s database of medical mnemonics,” is a neat site where you can search by filters or keywords, browse by category and with charts, add your favorite mnemonics. And you can put it on a PDA. I’m not a medical guru, so I can’t judge it, but it looks neat and useful. (Couldn’t find who set this up.)

URL: http://www.medicalmnemonics.com

Do NOT use this site
MEDgle “is an online information and educational service.” One puts in symptoms and received a ranked list of possible diagnoses. I and several others have tried it and have had bad results. Our conditions were not listed and some of the ones the site returned were strange and even frightening. We should caution our users NOT to use this site.

URL: http://medgle.com


No amount of money will make a tech-phobic staff love technology.

No amount of dissuasion will keep a technophile away from technology.

Knowing who you're working with and [the full range of] what your options are is more valuable than any amount of money thrown at your technology problem.

From Jessamyn West, librarian.net, from Tiny Tech Talk, a course on good tech tools for small and rural libraries she did at the Massachusetts Library Association conference.

URL for both slides and printable versions: http://www.librarian.net/talks/masslib/#synthesis

MOODLE, ANYONE? Putting workshops online

I have just discovered a course-authoring tool called Moodle (http://moodle.org). Is anyone using it in the library world? (Moodle comes from Western Australia...)

I'm trying to find a way to offer my workshops on the Web so that 1) I don't have to travel so much and 2) they can be made available to those not part of a group that can sponsor a course like these.
Management Strategies for Small or One-Person Libraries
Time Management for Librarians
The Visible Librarian--Marketing and Advocacy for Small Libraries

Can anyone help? I'd even pay for someone to put my courses on the Web..............


The American Library Association has given the ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award to the international collaborative group of librarians working on the Alliance Second Life Library. ”Since opening its virtual doors in April 2006, the Alliance Second Life Library (http://alliancelibraries.info/secondlife.htm) ... has expanded its presence to include locations on Info Islands I&II, HealthInfo Island, The Caledon (19th century) Branch Library, Cybrary City Islands, and the Teen Second Life ‘Eye4YouAlliance,’ where engaging activities and interactions occur in a collaborative, social/learning space.”

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [and my alma mater] is offering a class on Second Life librarianship starting this May (http://www.lis.uiuc.edu/programs/cpd/Second_Life.html, already sold out) and the School of Library & Information Science at San José State University has developed a product called Sloodle (http://www.sloodle.com/) which combines the open-source virtual learning system Moodle (http://moodle.org/) with Second Life, opening up new possibilities for distance education.