26 December 2007


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


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.

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


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


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/


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


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


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


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/


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


“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/


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


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


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.



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.


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


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_


02 December 2007


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


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/


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/


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


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


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/


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