27 February 2007


(from a press release from Primary Research Group)

Here are some tidbits from Corporate Library Benchmarks (New York: Primary Research Group, 2007, ISBN 1-57440-084-3.

Online and other electronic information accounts for more than 65 percent of the materials budgets of corporate libraries, and more than 80 percent of the library content expenditures of companies with greater than US$5 billion in annual sales.

The median number of patron visitors to the physical location of the library was only 13.5.

The ratio of librarians to other service personnel was almost two to one.

Only one library in the sample outsourced research functions to researchers or librarians based in developing countries such as India, Russia or China.

Overall, more libraries lost FTE [full-time equivalent] positions over the past two years than gained FTE positions. More than 30 percent of the libraries in the sample lost full time equivalent positions over the past three years, while 11.63 percent gained positions.

In 2006, the libraries in the sample estimated that their budgets had increased a mean of 7.38 percent, and a median of 5 percent.

Close to 40 percent of the libraries in the sample believed that the library accounted for 80 percent or more of company spending on electronic information typically associated with the library, such as spending on journals, databases, newsletters, e-books and directories.

62.16 percent of the libraries in the sample keep a written log of the reference questions received from library patrons.

Competitor profiling was of dramatic importance to the librarians in the sample. It was a primary theme more in more than 15 percent of research assignments for about 53 percent of organizations in the sample, and it was a primary theme in more than 30 percent of assignments for more than 29 percent of survey participants. Competitor profiling was particularly important in heavy industry and finance.

The librarians in the sample spent a mean of 3.47 hours per week reading blogs or [electronic lists].

The librarians in the sample traveled more than 35 miles away on library business a mean of 5.52 times in the past year, and a median of three times.

In 2005, the libraries in the sample maintained a mean of 6.00 workstations primarily for librarian use, with companies in the information services or informatics sector maintaining the greatest number of workstations for librarians. This figure rose slightly to 6.1 in 2006.

More than 71 percent of the libraries that use subscription agents pay their agents in one lump sum, while 28.6 percent paid them in increments throughout the year. Incremental pay was somewhat more common among the smaller organizations, as it was among companies in industry and information services/informatics.

The study presents a broad range of data, broken out by size of parent organization, type of industry, and also between organizations that have decreased the physical size of their library in recent years vs. those that have maintained or increased it. The report includes data on salaries, budgets, spending for books, directories, magazines and newspapers, journals, online databases, CD-ROM and other information vehicles. The benchmarking report is based on data from 48 major corporate and other business libraries of organizations with mean revenues of approximately US$3.6 billion.

The 130-page report has more than 250 tables and charts. The cost of the report is US$189 and can be ordered at http://www.primaryresearch.com./publications-
Information-Science.html. It is available in either PDF or print format.

25 February 2007


Wufoo is an HTML form builder and looks like it should be very easy to use once you figure it out from the scant documents. (Sorry about the pun—I couldn’t resist.) There’s a free version that allows you 3 forms, 3 reports, 10 fields, and 100 entries a month; other options go from $9-199 per month. The site gives lots of examples (a customer satisfaction survey, workshop registration, job applications, wedding invitation, exercise and diet tracker, address book, “catalog” for a music or DVD collection, diet log, household inventory, event planner, to do list, time sheet, and contact form), but it would be nice to have templates that you could just copy and use.

URL: http://www.wufoo.com/


A non-librarian, Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag (“a comic book fan living in the Seattle area”) compares Google Reader with Bloglines. It’s an interesting article. MY favorite, Google Reader, wins by a hair.

URL: http://realtegan.blogspot.com/2007/02/tegans-tech-talk.html


Part of their wiki, Read Write Connect provides links to the most popular resources from the American Library Association. Included are blogs, discussion forums, Flickr pictures, gadgets (custom search engines), mailing lists, Member Newsletter, podcasts, RSS feeds, videos, virtual worlds, and wikis. There’s also a sidebar with “hot” links such as conferences, YALSA on MySpace, and other wonders. ALA may not be completely 2.0 yet, but it’s sure working at it.

URL: http://wikis.ala.org/readwriteconnect


Copyright Advisory Network

The American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy intends this site to serve as “a way for librarians to learn about copyright,” “to get help when they have copyright troubles,” “to encourage librarians to discuss copyright concerns, and seek feedback and advice from fellow librarians and copyright specialists.” It includes network forums (bulletin boards), a blog, lists of copyright resources, Copyright 101 Educational Materials (presentations from the ALA 2006 Conference poster session), and links to the US copyright code and the fair use checklist. This looks to be a very useful and authoritative site.

URL: http://librarycopyright.net/


Marie Radford [Rutgers University, Morristown, New Jersey, USA] has posted a selective list of libraries that “are the most ‘innovative’ in terms of integrating Web 2.0 or social software applications.” She invites readers to suggest others that should be included, so be sure to read the comments for each post.

Part 1: Academic Libraries,
Part 2: Public Libraries,


Site of the Month

“Leo [Klein] is writer, designer and webdeveloper living in Chicago. He is also a librarian and an academic” but not working in a library right now. I had expected someone from the Chicago Public Library. The best thing on his site is the Site of the Month, featuring a library website and his commentary on it. The current one is Queens Borough (New York City) Public Library.

URL: http://www.chicagolibrarian.com/

17 February 2007


To quote Stephen Abram in his post, Absurd Self Promotion, “I am always preaching that we have to tell the world more about librarians and libraries... so here goes:Our book, Out Front With Stephen Abram is out. It was released at ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle and was, I am told, the bestselling book in the ALA Store!” It is currently #5 on the ALA Editions Website.

Stephen continued,“I was helped by (indeed it was actually all done by) Judith Siess and Jonathan Lorig. I am eternally grateful to them for their work. I am especially thrilled that Judith persisted in talking me into allowing this work to be created.”

Stephen will be signing copies at most SirsiDynix events and signings are planned at CLA (Canadian Library Association), SLA (Special Libraries Association) and perhaps the ALA (American Library Association) conferences this spring/summer. See you there.

If you're interested in purchasing a copy try any of the following URLs. The cost is US$40.00 (ALA members US$34), CA$46.62.


Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/Out-Front-Stephen-Abram-Information/dp/0838909329

Amazon.ca, http://www.amazon.ca/Out-Front-Stephen-Abram-Information/dp/0838909329/sr=1-10/qid=1170640970/ref=sr_1_10/701-9704798-6226736?ie=UTF8&s=books

ALA Editions, http://alastore.ala.org/SiteSolution.taf?_sn=catalog2&_pn=product_detail&_op=2238

From me (autograph included)—email me at jsiess@ibi-opl.com for details

16 February 2007


Brad Reagan wrote the following in an article title The Digital Age, Popular Mechanics, December 2006 (http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4201645.html). I have been saying this for at least 15 years, but I was a voice crying in the wilderness until about 5 years ago when I first saw others worrying not about the life of storage media, but of storage technology. Perhaps if this issue is raised in such a well-respected scientific magazine, someone will pay attention.

“The documents of our time are being recorded as bits and bytes with no guarantee of future readability. As technologies change, we may find our files frozen in forgotten formats. Will an entire era of human history be lost?

“One irony of the Digital Age is that archiving has become a more complex process than it was in the past. You not only have to save the physical discs, tapes and drives that hold your data, but you also need to make sure those media are compatible with the hardware and software of the future. ‘Most people haven't recognized that digital stuff is encoded in some format that requires software to render it in a form that humans can perceive,’ Rothenberg says. ‘Software that knows how to render those bits becomes obsolete. And it runs on computers that become obsolete.’

“In 1986, for example, the British Broadcasting Corp. compiled a modern, interactive version of William the Conqueror's Domesday Book, a survey of life in medieval England. More than a million people submitted photographs, written descriptions and video clips for this new ‘book.’ It was stored on laser discs—considered indestructible at the time—so future generations of students and scholars could learn about life in the 20th century.

“But 15 years later, British officials found the information on the discs was practically inaccessible—not because the discs were corrupted, but because they were no longer compatible with modern computer systems. By contrast, the original Domesday Book, written on parchment in 1086, is still in readable condition in England's National Archives in Kew. (The multimedia version was ultimately salvaged.)”


John Blyberg proposed an interesting and very scary idea in a recent post on his blog.

"What if our users decided that the $80-$100 allocated to the library from their property taxes would personally serve them better if it were spent on a Netflix subscription? After all, DVDs constitute the largest percentage of circulated items at our library. Yet, compared to Netflix, our selection is lousy, availability is a joke, and distribution methods? Ha. That’s just one example of many instances where our users are not getting the ROI they may be looking for. The reality is that public libraries are not in a position to compete with power houses like Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. We’re even getting our hat handed to us by the pirate movie and MP3 scene."

Get's you to thinking, huh?



15 February 2007


The people at Online Education Database have put this list together. “Some offer functionality that's slowly making its way into traditional search engines. Others further the attempt to traverse the invisible Web and index other previously unsearchable research sources. It is definitely worth trying them out.

URL: http://oedb.org/library/features/top-25-web20-search-engines

14 February 2007


This is a practical guide to topical legal questions affecting the information work of libraries in the fast moving digital environment. Each topic is described briefly, the main policy aspects for libraries are outlined, and there are links to library policy statements for further reading. It is sponsored by the UNESCO Information for All Programme. You can download each chapter in html or pdf format. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 License.

The chapter titles are: The Relationship between Copyright and Contract Law: Electronic, Resources and Library Consortia, Technological Protection Measures—the “Triple Lock,” Copyright, the Duration of Protection and the Public Domain, Orphaned Works, Collective Rights Management, Public Lending Right, The Database Right—Europe’s Experimental, Creative Commons: an “Open Content,” Open Access to Scholarly Communications, Copyright and Trade Agreements, International Policy Making: a Development Agenda for WIPO, and National Policy Making: Advocating for Fair Copyright Laws.

URL: http://www.eifl.net/services/handbook.htm


Science.gov has announced version 4.0 which adds deep ranking, refining of searches, sorting of results, and the option of having the results emailed to you or your customer (with comments).

Science.gov is a search engine for government science information and research results. Currently in its fourth generation, Science.gov provides search of more than 50 million pages of science information with just one query, and is a gateway to over 1,800 scientific Web sites. The content for this project is contributed by participating agencies. The Web page search function is provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, and the “explore by subject” search of selected federal scientific and technical Web sites is maintained by NTIS (the National Technical Information Service).

URL: http://www.science.gov


King’s Medical Library Engine provides a medical dictionary, terminology, and abbreviation search; a medical link directory directed at medical professionals; a web search engine to search through sites in the medical link directory, and searching of medical journals and drug. The site administrator is an MD and there is a Korean version.

URLs: http://www.kmle.com (Korean version: http://www.kmle.co.kr/)


This is a service of The Chronicle of Higher Education and covers “philosophy, aesthetics, literature, language, trends, breakthroughs, ideas, criticism, culture, history, music, art, disputes and gossip.” It is set up like a newspaper, with 4 columns: links, Articles of Note, New Books, and Essays and Opinions.New material is added six days a week. New links are added at or near the tops of sections, with older ones sliding down the columns accordingly. Most items will continue to be available for five or more days before being transferred to the archives (which date back to 1998). The links column categorizes its many links into newspapers, nota bene, magazines, book reviews, columnists, favorites, weblogs, radio news and music, diversions, classics, and Google/Refdesk.

I love their motto, Veritas odit moras, from Seneca’s version of Oedipus—it “Truth hates delay.” It would be a good motto for a library.


13 February 2007


EU RSS Feeds Available
For now this list includes press releases and commissioners’ speeches, but more are to come.

The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines
Worth taking a look at to augment your regular Google or Yahoo! searches.

A Blog Just for YA Librarians
Alternative Teen Services is a new blog from a group of librarians at the Kansas City, Missouri Public Library.

Strange Maps
Includes such wonders as “The World as Seen from New York’s 9th Avenue” (a New Yorker cover), Oz, and a diagram of the US Interstate system.

The Phrase Finder
Find the origins and meanings of phrases, sayings, and idioms in categories such as from the sea, Shakespeare, the Bible, proverbs, euphemisms, and the body.

The Law in Plain English
Podcasts from publisher Nolo.

Inventor’s Handbook
Eleven chapters covering intellectual property, how to conduct a patent search, applying or a patent, licensing, and other practical matters. Also at the site: inventor of the week, games and trivia, and other links and resources. From Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering.

Help for Teaching Statistics
Exploring Data has activities, worksheets, slides, datasets, articles, and resources “designed to enhance the statistics knowledge of the [secondary school] teacher.” From Central Queensland University, Melbourne, Australia.

11 February 2007


Foreign Relations of the United States
“The official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions that have been declassified and edited for publications” beginning with Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Browsable and searchable; some full-text (produced by OCR). Produced by the State Department’s Office of the Historian, University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Libraries. (Over 67,000 sessions recorded from July 2006-mid February 2007.)

URL: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/FRUS

MEDLINE®/PubMed® Resources Guide
Links to resources providing detailed information about searching these great medical databases. Divided into News, Overviews, Journals, Data Structure and Variables, Data Policies, Searching, Tools and Utilities, Statistics, Help and Training Resources.

URL: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/pmresources.html

Online Spanish Dictionary
Finally, a “definitive” Spanish dictionary from our friends at Merriam-Webster.

URL: http://www.m-w.com/ (check the Spanish-English button)

Other Spanish dictionaries:
SpanishDICT.com, http://spanishdict.com/index.cfm
WordReference.com, http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=welcome
Yahoo! Education’s dictionary, http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dict_en_es/
Ultralingua Online Dictionary, http://www.ultralingua.com/onlinedictionary/
OR, find a long list of general and specialized Spanish dictionaries at http://www.alphadictionary.com/directory/Languages/Romance/Spanish/

Next Generation Librarianship: Where Do We Go from Here?
The College of DuPage (Illinois) Press has a great list of resources on this important issue. You might also check out my new book, Out Front with Stephen Abram: A Guide for Information Leaders, compiled by Judith A. Siess and Jonathan Lorig, ALA Editions, 2007, ISBN 0-8389-0932-9. It has a lot on this subject (and other good stuff, too).

List: http://www.dupagepress.com/COD/index.php?id=1183
My book: http://alastore.ala.org/SiteSolution.taf?_sn=catalog2&_pn=product_detail&_op=2238

09 February 2007


The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatrists in Training has put a psychiatry text on the Web for free downloading. (For some reason the chapters on Antidepressant Drugs and Suicide are not available.) I think it might have limited interest to librarians and physicians, but it may be useful for students.

URL: http://www.anzapt.org/content/view/645/348/

07 February 2007

NEW GOVERNMENT RESOURCES from Australia, Tonga, and Canada

The Australian Parliamentary Library has a new RSS feed for their new documents and one for This Week in Parliament.
New Documents: http://www.aph.gov.au/library/rsspubs_feed.xml
This Week in Parliament: http://www.aph.gov.au/rss.htm

Tongan Legislation Online is now available and searchable. It is funded by New Zealand's International Aid & Development Agency.
URL: http://legislation.to/cms/home.html

The Maps, Data, and Government Information Centre of Carleton University [Ottawa, Ontario, Canada] has made available a Google Custom Search for Federal, Provincial, Territorial, and Municipal Canadian Government Documents on the Web. Thanks folks.
URL: http://www.library.carleton.ca/madgic/


Karen J. Switt Leadership Award

Do You Know a Leader? How about a Dynamic Information Entrepreneur?

Or Maybe You are One Yourself!

We need your help.

Who are the visionary leaders and dynamic innovators in our profession?

Don’t be shy! Don’t keep it to yourself! Don’t put it off until you have more “time”—tthat’s a “time” that never comes, right?

Help the LMD Awards Committee identify candidates for LMD’s prestigious Karen J. Switt Leadership Award.

Each year since 1988, at the Annual SLA Conference in June, LMD has honored one of our division’s members in recognition of significant leadership in the information management profession during the previous five years.

Accomplishments may be in any aspect of library and information management, for example:

Visionary leadership Marketing and public relations

Planning and strategy Human resources

Information policy Finance

Technology Ethics


The accomplishments (s) must be documented by professional talks, forums, articles and/or other written communications.

The award consists of a $750 check, sponsored by C. Berger Group, Inc., and a commemorative plaque, as well as significant peer recognition.

Please submit nomination and supporting documentation (i.e., published papers, letters of support from colleagues, etc.) to the LMD Awards Chair before the deadline of March 1, 2007.

Submit a nomination to the Awards Committee

OR send via postal mail to:

Judith Siess, LMD Awards Chair

Information Bridges International, Inc.

477 Harris Rd., Cleveland, OH 44143-2537




“Trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated consumer trends firm, relying on a global network of 8,000 spotters (business savvy people, fast-moving urbanites, slow-moving thinkers, frequent flyers: individuals who recognize a new business idea or initiative when they come across one, at home or abroad, Whether it's a new kind of male grooming lounge in Dubai or a new affordable book publishing service for aspiring writers in Canada.) working hard to deliver inspiration and pangs of anxiety to business professionals in 120+ countries worldwide.” You can read their latest findings in their free, monthly Trend Briefing.

URL: http://www.trendwatching.com/briefing/


The University of Michigan Library has put together a good list of Resources for General, Library, and Digital Library Related Usability. It includes websites, articles, books, and podcasts. (Usability suggestion for them: yellow type on white is not easy to read!)

URL: http://www.lib.umich.edu/usability/resources.html


Web 2.0... the Machine is Us/ing Us is a wonderful (if dizzying) video produced by Michael Wesch, a professor of Cultural Anthropology (Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA]. It is a part of his digital ethnography project. (I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as digital ethnography—and I have a B.A. and M.A. in anthropology!) You have to see this!

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE

05 February 2007


"The National Class Action Database is designed to give lawyers and the public easy access to court documents submitted with regard to class action lawsuits currently underway across the country" (Canada). It is a service of the Canadian Bar Association and covers 2003-present.
It does not claim to be comprehensive, however.

Is there anything like this for the USA? or other countries?

URL: http://www.cba.org/ClassActions/

04 February 2007


McMaster University Library, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, advertised for four (!) new librarians. “These positions are new and offer the future incumbent an opportunity to be the first in a newly defined position for our organization, and in one case what may be a truly unique position! The McMaster Library is going through a very exciting transformation and we’re looking for creative, innovative risk-takers who are eager contribute to our process and to the transformation of our profession.”

Two of the positions are especially interesting.

Teaching and Learning Librarian (emphasis mine): “to lead the growth and development of its dynamic instruction and information literacy program.”

Immersive Learning Librarian (aka “Gaming Librarian”): “a creative, innovative and experienced librarian to provide leadership in establishing McMaster University Library as the premier North American academic library in the implementation of innovative, highly engaging, habitable environments for teaching and learning. This includes the development and support of educationally sound virtual worlds, simulations and games. While the position will be based at the Science and Engineering Library, the successful candidate will serve as a link between the libraries and the academic faculties involved in immersive learning environments (Engineering and Humanities). The successful candidate will play a key role in supporting ongoing research of faculty, staff and students; in collaboration with the Teaching and Learning Librarian, in facilitating the integration of library instruction into the curriculum; and in collaboration with the Digital Strategies Librarian, in providing leadership to the campus community with respect to providing access to, promoting, archiving and preserving locally produced instructional resources. The successful candidate will be responsible for conceiving, designing, implementing, operating, and evaluating innovative teaching and learning environments relevant to the campus community.”

Another good take on Librarian 2.0 is this statement by recent LIS graduate Michael Habib (School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), quoted in ALA Techsource.

“I plan to develop online communities and services that promote the idea of digital library as place. Like physical libraries, digital libraries need to be community centers, collaborative study spaces, meeting spaces, etc. In addition, I plan to train library users to use new technologies and information resources.” At the time of this writing, Habib did not yet have a job—someone should snap him up.


This new site from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Scotland, “aims to provide the public and health professionals with equitable access to authoritative and independent commentaries from leading medical experts on articles or news items which appear in the media (nationally and internationally) in an attempt to reduce the confusion which can often arise from conflicting, incomplete, or misleading media reports of medical areas.”

URL: http://www.behindthemedicalheadlines.com/


Jackson County (Oregon) Library Services has a wonderful marketing tool on its website. What is your library worth to you? Allows you to calculate the value you receive from using various library services. If you want to use it, you’d better hurry, because the county government is closing all of the libraries in the county due to budget constraints. In case you miss it, the values used are:
Books borrowed, $15 each; magazines borrowed, $2; movies borrowed, $4; audio books borrowed, $10; magazine use in library, $2; interlibrary loan, $25; meeting room use per hour, $50; auditorium use per hour, $250; adult programs and classes attended, $10; children’s programs attended, $6; hours of computer use (i.e., Internet, MS Word, etc.), $12; newspapers viewed online, $1; use of other database searching (like EBSCO), $20; and reference questions asked, $7.

I have a few quibbles with the above. The cost for adult programs seems low and the cost for reference questions should is very low (and should be phrased as “reference questions answered,” anyway. However, creating a calculator like this for your library would be a great marketing tool.

URL: http://www.jcls.org/caculator.html (you have to misspell “calculator” to find the site—not great PR)


Arnold, Jennifer, The Other Academic Library: Librarianship at the Community College, LIScareer.com, January 2007, http://www.liscareer.com/arnold_commcoll.htm

Law Library Lights 50(2), Winter 2007, Law Librarians’ Society of Washington DC, Inc., Theme: A Day in the Life of a Law Librarian, http://www.llsdc.org/lights/pdf/50_2.pdf

Martin Akel & Associates, A Study of Correlation: The Effect of R&D Information Tools on Research Success, http://www.ei.org/correlationstudy/Correlation.pdf

HLABC Forum 30(1), Winter 2006-2007, Health Libraries Association of British Columbia (Canada), Theme: It’s All About You! 21st Century Resource Sharing, http://hlabc.bc.ca/fileadmin/fe-downloads/2006_301.pdf

02 February 2007


No real details, just links to some good resources.

Homeschooling and Libraries
, http://homeschoolingandlibraries.wordpress.com/

National Postal Museum
(USA), http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods, http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html
(Move your cursor over a square to find out more about each method.)

Public Library Toolkit, http://www.aallnet.org/sis/lisp/toolkit.htm, “meant to help public librarians understand the process of legal research, effectively develop and use the information located within their libraries, utilize information outside their libraries, with the end goal of helping the patron locate the legal information they need.”

To create a map, you might try one of these sites:
MapBuilder, http://www.mapbuilder.net
Quikmaps, http://www.quikmaps.com
Wayfaring, http://www.wayfaring.com/

The Canadian Atlas Online, http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/
Available in English or French, also in a children’s version.