30 March 2007


I was reading my March-April issue of Congregational Libraries Today, the journal of the Church and Synagogue Library Association, and came across this great idea for making your own sticky notes. It comes from their president, Maryann Barth [New Port Richey, Florida]. (This isn’t the first good idea I got from this organization—consider joining just for the magazine. Membership is just US$35 for a personal membership. A real bargain.

To make the notes, create the text on your computer, then print them on colored paper, four to a sheet. Pale colors (pink, yellow, green, or blue) work best. After printing, cut the paper in quarters. When you need to use the note, just wipe a glue stick across the top. (You could probably print them on 3-M’s PostIt© 8-1/2x11 paper, but this way you can use them as regular notes if they don’t need to be sticky.)

She suggests printing the name of your library, address, location, phone number, and hours. I would add your name, email, and website. Also, your logo and/or motto. You can request a free Word template by email from libraries@distantwind.com (a graphics company—I haven’t tried this). Barth ends her article, “These notes get a lot of attention. Enjoy your creativity and get your message out!” Amen.

URL: Church & Synagogue Library Association: http://cslainfo.org/membership.html


CostHelper.com can help you “find out what price other people are paying” and lets you “share your shopping experiences with others” The categories are: babies and children, cars, computers and the Internet, consumer electronics, games and entertainment, health and personal care, home and garden, personal finance, small business, travel, and weddings. I looked for “camcorder.” (I’m getting one for our river trip from Amsterdam to Vienna next year.) It gave me typical costs for low, medium, and high-end models, what should be included, and suggestions for shopping at Amazon, Wal-mart, Costco, and Best Buy. Not too bad for a free site.

URL: http://www.costhelper.com

28 March 2007


Lisa Redlinski asked the following on the Solo electronic list (SLA-DSOL).”There’s a big ruckus about gaming in public and academic libraries, but what about special libraries? Are any of you collecting or providing games to patrons?”

Here is my response. For those of others, check the list.

I think we should be thinking about turning the website and the catalog into a “game” or at least make using it fun and in a format that the MIllennials are used to. Then they might actually USE it!

I talked to the librarian in an architectural firm who had architects with their own private desk collections. She was wondering how she could give access to these to the younger associates. This would be applicable to a law firm, engineering company, consulting firm, etc., too.

How about making a virtual reality model of the firm? Each principal’s/partner’s office would have an avatar of the principal, a list of his/her books, and a way to ask questions either in real time or by leaving a written (electronic) message. If the technology got good enough, a person could ask the avatar a question and, because the principal had loaded it with enough information, the avatar could answer it or refer the person to a book or another person. This way, the principal would not be bothered in real life--only virtually.

I’m not a gamer, but I can see how this would be advantageous to everyone. Anyone “game” enough to try it?

27 March 2007


Alex Reid [State University of New York (Cortland)] really got me to thinking when I read this post on his blog, Digital digs: an archaeology of the future. Should we continue to have people “read” a paper at a conference? The Writing Program Administration electronic list discussed this issue and decided that “it depends—”on the subject matter, on who is doing the presenting, the length of the presentation, etc. For example, you can easily spend over US$1000 to go to a conference, where you might present your paper to less than 25 people. He asks, “why should I spend a grand out of my own pocket to tell a dozen people what is on my mind? That’s what a blog is for.

Yes, I know that the real purpose of conferences is networking—getting to meet people—and to do the organization’s business in committees. However, could we put all the presentations on the web as text or PowerPoint (using SlideShare or even YouTube) and allow for comments? We could even set up a forum for questions and discussion. Or even do a virtual conference in a synchronous online space like Second Life. (Some people are already doing virtual conferences, but not for the big meeting.

What would we gain? Presentations could be as long as they wanted to be. There could be an accessible record of presentations that would be easy to reference. One could extend the conversation coming out of a presentation and easily make connections between presentations. He even suggests that “the quality of the presentations might improve overall as they would lose their ephemeral quality.” Not only would you save the travel time to and from conferences, but you would not have to sit through a poor presentation or one that turned out to be something other than what you thought it would be. Time at the actual conference could be saved for featured speakers, although these could be podcast or vidcast on a secure website, again making it unnecessary to travel.

Disadvantages: The organization would lose its main (or one of its main) sources of revenue—the annual conference. But this could easily be made up by charging a nominal fee to access a presentation or speech. Those on small budgets—like most of us—could afford to hear more presentations since they would not be paying hotel and air costs. The sum of many smaller payments could equal the few larger conference fees—and many more people would receive the information and participate in the organization.

It sounds like a win-win to me. What do you think?

URL: http://alexreid.typepad.com/digital_digs/2007/03/conferences_in_.html


Ivan Chew announces the Singapore Social Media Directory (really, a wiki) to make it easy to find blogs by people or groups in Singapore. There are two main sections: listings by individual and by groups. Entries are listed in alphabetical order. There is also provision for up to twenty phrases or keywords—to facilitate searching by subject. Of course, the directory is searchable.

Chew calls this a “Social Experiment” because the wiki will be opened for anyone to edit. You don’t eve need to be a registered member. He adds, “It’s worth trying out the idea. The cost of failure isn’t that high. The world won’t end if this experiment crashes and burns. No one will die of embarrassment if nobody responds to this. So let the Social Experiment begin!”

Announcement: http://ramblinglibrarian.blogspot.com/2007/03/
Wiki: http://sgsocialmediadir.wikispaces.com/

24 March 2007


"The A-Z Knowledgebase is a collection of handy references and hard to find answers to a diverse assortment of legal research questions. Originally a private resource created and maintained by the B.C. Courthouse Library Society to help staff answer users' questions, the A-Z continues to grow as we add new items and update older ones. The A-Z is not a comprehensive resource. Instead, it is an eclectic mix of research tips and information designed to help our users find answers to their questions. Some items link to online resources. Other items provide catalogue references and information on books and resources in B.C. Courthouse libraries and other library collections."

URL: http://www.bccls.bc.ca/cms/index.cfm?group_id=70002


NewspaperARCHIVE now has over free 50,000 full-text, full-image “historic” articles about college basketball, for those for whom March Madness is in full swing. Search is a bit slow, but it is a unique resource.

URL: http://collegebasketballarchive.com/Home.aspx


They have reloaded their web site and presentations from the 5th Canadian Cochrane Symposium are now posted.

URL: http://www.ccnc.cochrane.org/en/index.html


“This site was created as a service to those who are learning programming and might not have the resources available to purchase books.” The site also has links to blogs, free e-books, free engineering books, OPACs in India, selected quotations, and website designing basics. From Akhila Matrix, an Indian company.

URL: http://www.akhilamatrix.com/computer_science.htm


The Evanston (Illinois) Public Library has a website, Reference Rolodex, which has answers to many quick reference questions, such as “what are the ‘gry’ words in the English language?” This could replace your own card file or just make for fascinating reading for trivia junkies like me.

URL: http://ref.epl.org/browsecardonly.php


I ran across the following recently.

Drug Channels, “expert viewpoints by Dr. Adam J. Fein [Pembroke Consulting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] on the latest pharmaceutical industry trends affecting manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies, PBMs, and payers,” http://www.drugchannels.net/

Life on the Pharm, “navigating the labyrinth of regulatory compliance in the pharmaceutical industry,” by a housewife who is an “avid reader of medical literature”—for what it’s worth, http://life-on-the-pharm.blogspot.com

The Pharm Blogosphere, “a blog about blogging about the pharmaceutical industry,” by John Mack, publisher of Pharma Marketing News. Has a great list of blogs about the industry. http://pharmablogosphere.blogspot.com


“ToxSeek is an NLM [National Libraries of Medicine, USA] metasearch engine and clustering tool that enables the simultaneous searching of many different toxicology and environmental health information databases and Web sites.” There’s a new spell checker, automatic inclusion of MeSH medical subject headings, environmental health e-maps, refined search strategies for the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Centers for Disease Control site, and the addition of World Health Organization.

URL: http://toxseek.nlm.nih.gov/toxseek/


“Enjoyment in Libraries with the Candid Pencil of David Friedman, 1962-1972, St. Louis, Missouri” is a collection of drawings of readers in St. Louis libraries. From the Finkelstein Memorial Library, Spring Valley, New York.

URL: http://finkelsteinlibrary.org/Friedman_Drawings/index.html


The British and Irish Legal Information Institute, BAILLI (Bailey, as in Old Bailey—cute), has launched a new website. It has “British and Irish case law and legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material.”

URL: http://www.bailii.org/


Kevin McClure [Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois] manages The Gov Docs Guy blog “highlighting newsworthy government documents.” Good stuff.

URL: http://govdocsblog.kentlaw.edu/wordpress


David E. McBee [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, DC] wrote on his blog, Library Buzz, “In library school I had a professor, Neal Kaske, who was then head of the Engineering Library. He asked us why library students were always asked to work on team projects—was it just to annoy us? He pointed out that in the sciences [and business, too] there were always teams working together on projects. Each person has a specialty though there is often some overlap. People would conduct their research as a part of the team effort. Now, most library students come from a liberal arts background where folks tend to study and research on their own. So, part of library school is designed to teach us how to work as part of team.” This may become less important in the future, since the upcoming generations have been working in teams since grade school.

URL: http://dmcbee.weblts.com/?p=81


Checkerboard Chat: Of the Police, By the Police, For the Police, the Chicago Police Department Weblog is fascinating. You know the technology has gone mainstream when our men in blue have adopted it.

URL: http://cpdweblog.typepad.com/


Radiopaedia.org aims “to develop an online text where information is up to date and relevant to the needs of radiology staff.” It seems to be a good start.

URL: http://www.radiopaedia.org


“One precocious first-grader, Elias Khoury, warned his classmates: ‘The computer is mostly mind-numbing. If you waste time on the computer, you won’t find any good books.” In Of the Places You’ll Go, Is the Library Still One of Them? by Jeff Zaslow, The Wall Street Journal online, 15 March 2007.

URL: http://www.careerjournal.com/columnists/movingon/20070320


ReleMed is so simple that it couldn’t be any good, right? Wrong. It provides the same results as a PubMed search, but faster and easier, plus it arranges them by relevance. Other neat features are planned, including links to the full-text. Try it.

URL: http://www.relemed.com


Andrew Booth and Anne Brice have written a good report on evidence-based librarianship, titled Prediction is Difficult, Especially the Future: A Progress Report, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 2(1), 14 March 2007. The bibliography is especially complete.

URL: http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/99/242


The Joint Information Systems Committee of the UK commissioned a report “to “investigate the substance behind the hyperbole surrounding Web 2.0” (Karna O’Dea, ALIA information sharing officer). The result is Paul Anderson’s What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. It looks to be a very significant report. To quote from the Executive Summary, “Web 2.0 is more than a set of ‘cool’ and new technologies and services…. It has, at its heart, a set of at least six powerful ideas that are changing the way some people interact.”

URL: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/techwatch/tsw0701b.pdf


CogMap: The Org Chart Wiki has a great idea, but the execution is shaky. They promise organization charts for companies around the world. There are about a dozen posted, but the only companies I’d heard of are Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! and “United States of America.” They are not complete and there is little detail. Also, it seems anyone can edit them, so who knows how reliable the information is. But they are an interesting read, especially the USA one.

URL: http://www.cogmap.com


Blogging Policies and Best Practices for Lawyers and Law Firms, by Edward Poll [LawBiz© Management, Venice, California] has some very good advice and can help you and your law firm establish your own policies. On CBA Practice Link (California Bar Association), which has links to other resources on blogging for lawyers.

URL: http://www.cba.org/CBA/PracticeLink/TAYP/blogpolicies.aspx


About databases from Globalex, from Dennis Kim-Prieto [Rutgers School of Law, Newark, New Jersey].

URL: http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Databases_


1. Research technologies not only before you adopt them, but also while you’re using them.
2. Don’t get emotionally attached to a particular technology.
3. Continuously research competing technologies to the ones you are using now.
4. Don’t build yourself into a corner.

Lucas McDonnell [PricewaterhouseCoopers, Canada], unCommon Knowledge, 4 January 2007, quoted in Becoming a Technology Agnostic, David Lee King, 21 March 2007

URL: http://www.lucasmcdonnell.com/increase-knowledge-innovation-

22 March 2007


Using Benchmarking, Needs Assessment, Quality Improvement, Outcome Measurement, and Library Standards: A How-To-Do-It Manual by Rosalind Farnam Dudden, Neal-Schuman and Medical Library Association, 2007, ISBN 1-55570-604-5, book and CD-ROM.

Order by April 30, 2007, and receive $15 off! (cannot be combined with other offers)
Special Price: $70.00, plus $9.25 shipping and handling.

After April 30:
MLA member: $76.50 plus $9.25 shipping and handling
Nonmembers: $85.00 plus $9.25 shipping and handling

Evaluation tools are an essential part of improving service and proving the library’s value. This easy-to-understand how-to outlines the use of five of the most important and popular methods of evaluation:
• Needs assessments
• Performance improvements
• Benchmarking
• Library standards
• Outcome measures
Each chapter includes step-by-step guidance for defining goals, staffing the project, developing a timeline, collecting data, analyzing findings, and sharing results. The five different methods are illustrated with real-world examples, showing what libraries evaluated and how findings helped change their organization. Invaluable managerial tools including checklists, forms, worksheets, and more — all reproducible from the CD-ROM — help you implement the methods easily and affectively. Managers in all types of libraries will find this an informative and practical resource for improving their organization.

URL: Order at: http://www.neal-schuman.com/db/0/590.html

21 March 2007


Rachel Singer Gordon started this--on her blog, The Liminal Librarian. Here's my contribution.

Beloit College News,my alma mater (undergrad)

Bozo Urbana, weird stuff going on in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, my home town and where we're going to retire in a few years

little blog on the prairie, like Bozo Urbana, but more interesting and better written

News & Events from the University of Illinois Alumni Association, my other alma mater (library school) plus I am president of the Cleveland Illini Club,

Fighting Illini news (U of I athletic association), useful for Illini Club newsletters

Illinois News Bureau--Research

Running a Library, blog from a hospital CEO--fascinating!

WSJ.com: Health Blog, just because,

17 March 2007


Running a Hospital is a new blog by Paul Levy, President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. I just started following it, but it looks fascinating and provides a viewpoint not often seen in the blogosphere--management. I wonder if the Beth Israel librarian is blogging?

URL: http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/

16 March 2007


ProQuest has unveiled several tools for library advocacy. The one that's most relevant is the Library Marketing Kit, with a how-to-guide, customizable flier and press release, and a digital "ad." Neat stuff!

URL: http://www.il.proquest.com/division/libraryadvocacy.shtml


MEDLIB-L readers send about 12,000,000 (million) messages per year!


Open Congress
“Open Congress brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give you the real story behind each bill.” Categories: bills, senators, representatives, committees, industries, issues, and blog. Also can follow bills, including most viewed bills. From the Sunlight Foundation and PPF, both dedicated to getting the “real” story from Congress.

VA Watchdog
This time the site is “keeping an eye on the VA (Veterans’ Administration) because somebody has to!” There are news flashes, Congressional committee watches, VA press releases, links and tips to help veterans, podcasts and videos. It may be a bit biased against the VA, but is a good source of information anyway.


Do you need some help with doing your exercises right? The Training Station shows animated diagrams of over 100 exercises—when you click on the diagram it actually shows you how to perform it. There are also workouts designed for beginners to advanced, all available as eBooks or CDs as well. It's from a commercial source, but useful nonetheless.


15 March 2007


David Rothman posted this list of resources on his blog, davidrothman.net (http://davidrothman.net/2007/03/15/online-anatomy-and-medical-
illustration-resources/) . Thanks, David.

The Visible Human
This site aims to create complete, anatomically detailed, three-dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. Acquisition of transverse CT, MR and cryosection images of representative male and female cadavers has been completed.

Created by physicians and Ph.D.s at George Washington University and the American University of Beirut, NetAnatomy contains sections on radiographic, cross-sectional, and gross anatomy designed to teach human anatomy to students of the health professions, including undergraduate medical, health sciences, and nursing students.

A collection of study aids for entry-level anatomy and physiology students,” from the University of Minnesota.

Instant Anatomy
A website with illustrations of the Human Body to aid the learning of Human Anatomy with diagrams, podcasts and revision questions. Created by Robert Whitaker, retired pediatric urological surgeon who teaches clinically applied topographical anatomy at Cambridge University.

Human Anatomy Online
Animations, graphics, and descriptive links on a “fun, interactive, and an ideal reference site for students or those who just want to know more about the medical descriptions used by doctors and nurses.” From myhealthscore.com.

Anatomy Atlases
“A digital library of anatomy information curated by Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D.,” a retired professor formerly at the University of Iowa. Includes: Atlas of Human Anatomy, Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section, Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: A Functional Approach, Anatomy of First Aid: A Case Study Approach, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation, and Lessons from a Bone Box (even has videos).

AMA Atlas of the Body
Straighforward diagrams from the American Medical Association.

Dream Anatomy
History of anatomical illustration. Interesting, but hard to tell how useful it might be.

Medical Animation Library
From the University of Pennsylvania. Requires Flash and Quicktime.

Street Anatomy
A blog about medical illustration (“medical visualization: past, present, and future”) from Vanessa Ruiz, a graduate student in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

13 March 2007


The Hospital Libraries Section of the Medical Library Association has created a wiki called MLA-HLS. It is new and doesn't have too much on it yet, but shows a lot of promise.

I put up a couple of pages in Evidence-Based Medicine. Look them up. Add something if you have resources to share. Wikis are only as good as the material on them and that material needs to come from all of us.

URL: http://mla-hls.wikispaces.com


Statement of Core Competencies
San Jose State University (California) School of Library and Information Science
Each graduate of the Master of Library and Information Science program is able to...

  1. articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  2. compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  3. recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  4. apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy;
  5. design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems;
  6. use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  7. understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge;
  8. demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities;
  9. use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users;
  10. describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors;
  11. design training programs based on appropriate learning principles and theories;
  12. understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups;
  13. demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations;
  14. evaluate programs and services on specified criteria; and
  15. contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.
These are really great. Now if all library grads could demonstrate all these competencies.
Question: How do they test for them?


Librarian: Executive Summary
by Marty Nemko, USNews.com, Money & Business, 18 December 2006, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/061218/

Forget about that image of librarian as a mousy bookworm. Librarians these days must be high-tech information sleuths, helping researchers plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records. It’s an underrated career. Most librarians love helping patrons dig up information and, in the process, learning new things. Librarians may also go on shopping sprees, deciding which books and online resources to buy. They even get to put on performances, like children’s puppet shows, and run other programs, like book discussion groups for elders. On top of it all, librarians’ work hours are reasonable, and the work environment, needless to say, is placid.

Median Salary: $49,708

Other Resources:
Department of Labor profile, http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos068.htm
American Library Association
Special Libraries Association
[Ms. OPL says, what about MLA, AALL, etc.?]
Shontz, Priscilla, The Librarian’s Career Guidebook, Methuen, NJ: Scarecrow, 2004, ISBN-10: 0810850346, ISBN-13: 978-0810850347, US$45.00
Kane, Laura Townsend, Straight from the Stacks: A First Hand Guide to Careers in Library and Information Science, Chicago: American Library Association, 2003, ISBN-10: 0838908659, ISBN-13: 978-0838908655, US$34.00

Related Content:
Brandon, Emily, Librarian: James Billington Sees a Bright Future Beyond Books, USNews.com, 18 December 2006, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/061218/

Nemko, Marty, Librarian: A Day in the Life, USNews.com, 18 December 2006, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/061218/

(text of the article)

You work in a small municipal library, where you have to do a little of everything. You start your day by leafing through catalogs from online database publishers and book reviews in Library Journal to decide which titles to add to your collection. Next, it’s out to the reference desk, where visitors regularly ask how to find something. Sometimes it’s esoteric; often it’s the bathroom. Later, you teach a class: an advanced lesson in Googling.
Next, it’s back to the reference desk, but you’re soon interrupted by a group of boisterous kids, so you have to turn into schoolmarm: “You’ll have to be quiet, or I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
You end your day reading about “automated librarianship”: data storage systems that let the public get needed resources without the help of a live librarian. Tomorrow, you decide, you’ll start writing a grant proposal to develop a computer kiosk that will help patrons find health information.
Smart Specialty: Special Librarian.
All sorts of organizations need librarians, not just universities and local governments. They work for law firms, prisons, corporations, and nonprofit agencies. In fact, special librarianship is the field’s fastest-growing job market. Unlike public and university jobs, which require night and weekend hours, these jobs are mostly 9 to 5.

12 March 2007


Aaron Schmidt [North Plains Public Library, North Plains, Oregon, USA] writes in a post on his blog, Walking Paper, that he is a very busy reference librarian in a small public library. He uses Web 2.0 tools to same time. You don’t have to be in a public library to follow his example.

The library’s website was created with WordPress; the library tour is powered by PictoBrowser and Flickr; and the librarians use Google Spreadsheet “to organize the collaboration of multiple employees that are infrequently in the same room.”

He concludes, “I hope this mini case study of a time strapped library helps expose the ‘I don’t have time for social software’ excuse to be just that: an excuse for not wanting to expand and learn.”

Complete post: http://www.walkingpaper.org/402
NPPL website: http://nplibrary.org/
Library tour: http://nplibrary.org/tour-the-library/
WordPress: http://www.wordpress.com
PictoBrowser: http://www.db798.com/work/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com
Google Spreadsheet: http://docs.google.com

10 March 2007


Booklets (in pdf format) with selected and annotated web sites (mostly in the UK) are available from Intute. Intute exists to help students, teachers, researchers and librarians make sense of the Web by providing access to the very best Internet resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners. Subject specialists select and evaluate the websites in our database and write high quality descriptions of the resources. The database contains 115948 records. It is funded by JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee) with support from the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It was formerly known as the RDN (Resource Discovery Network).

Science and Engineering: Chemistry, computing, environmental engineering, and physics
Arts and Humanities: archaeology, fashion and beauty, religion and theology, and visual arts
Social Sciences: business and tourism, law, social research, and social welfare
Health and Life Sciences: agriculture, food and forestry, animal health, healthcare and medicine, and physiotherapy and orthopaedics

Sample contents
Law: general law, legal information gateways, educational materials, organizations; UK law, EU law, other jurisdictions, international law, law by subject area.
Healthcare and medicine: online education and teaching materials, factual databases, bibliographic information, electronic journals, books and full-text documents, news and discussion, patient information, clinical resources, professional organisations

URL: http://www.intute.ac.uk/


If you are a solo and have retired recently or plan to do so in the next couple of years, please get in touch with me. I have an opportunity for you. You can email me at jsiess@ibi-opl.com.

09 March 2007


Better World Books
will take library discards and donations and use them to fund literacy initiatives locally, nationally, and around the world. They sell the books and donate some of the sales to non-profit literacy partners. And it costs you nothing. But, they will not take books from collections that have been "picked over" (offered to employees or the public). If they can't sell the books, they recycle them. The four major partners are: Books for Africa, Room to Read, National Center for Family Literacy, and World Education and Development Fund. They've given out over US$1.3 million since they started in 1994.

URL: http://betterworldbooks.com/


This article is the result of a study commissioned by Elsevier in 2002. It appears on their free librarian-outreach website, LibraryConnect. Here are some of the 15 tips.

“On the library homepage, offer links to digital resources and subject-specific content.” “Offer searchable lists of online resources and providers.” “List library staff titles and names with telephone numbers and email addresses.” AMEN! “Avoid generic email alerts to a wide audience in favor of tailored email messages.”

URL: http://libraryconnect.elsevier.com/lcp/0102/lcp010201.html


A sad truth: “While we don’t charge monetarily for our services, the user incurs costs in terms of time and effort. For many users, libraries are simply not worth it.” “We’re no longer the only game in town.” “We know that many of our users are keen to have electronic access, but often they’re not aware that the library has the information that they need.”

To market effectively, “ define your market, decide what to promote, target an audience, decide on the venue and media, construct and appropriate message, [and] evaluate your efforts.”

Wisniewski, Jeff and Darlene Fichter, Electronic resources won’t sell themselves: marketing tips, Online 31(1):54-57, January/February 2007.


William McKeen wrote eloquently on this subject in the St. Petersburg Times, 26 March 2006. Here is just a few quotes to give you the flavor of the article.

He requires students in his journalism class at the University of Florida (where he is chair of the department) to subscribe to the New York Times. When telling a student that no, he cannot just read it online, he said, “Because then you would only find what you’re looking for.”

“Serendipity is a historian’s best friend and the biggest part of the rush that is the daily magic of discovery.” “When you know what you want—or think you do—you lose the adventure of discovery, of finding something for yourself.” “We must allow ourselves to be surprised. We must relearn how to be human, to start again as we did as children—learning through awkward and bungling discovery.” At the end of your life, do you want to look back and say, “I could have missed this.”

URL: http://www.sptimes.com/2006/03/26/Perspective/The_endangered_joy_of.shtml


The Engineering Library at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, combined the reference and circulation desks. The main goals of the merge were: “provide a ‘one stop’ shopping environment for [their] users, extend at least basic reference services to all hours of library operation, respond to on-site service trends, provide an efficient and flexible staffing solution, [and] use the limited space more efficiently.” The paper presents a literature review and a description of the process and rationale. But I think that the most useful part of the paper is at the end—the two appendices that presents the perspective of the reference and circulation professionals’s perspectives on the process and outcome.

Powell, Jill, et al., Integrating an Engineering Library’s Public Services Desk: Multiple Perspectives, Issues in Science and Technology Leadership Winter 2007, http://www.istl.org/07-winter/article2.html


The latest issue of the Journal of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries has as its theme The Changing of the User Environment. There were two articles that I thought were especially good. Here is a bit of each.

Guus Van den Brekel [University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands]: “The awareness of our quality resources and ways to find them, is no longer present, or being pushed aside, even swept away by the simplicity of searches via Google and others. How did (we let) this happen?” A combination of the ease of searching Google and PubMed, sticking to traditional library systems too long, and the new attitudes of the net-generation and gamers. “How can we change this?” Move from being product-oriented to user oriented. “Shift from ‘This is what we offer to you. Come and get it if you want to use it!’ to ‘You choose the services you need, when and where you need them.’” Get out of the library. Over the long-term, rebuild library systems “with open standards focused on modular web-based services.”

Tuulevi Ovaska [Kuopio University Library, Finland]: Divides users into three groups: “1. those who want to be totally served, 2. those who want to do things themselves but need assistance, and 3. those who are able to do everything they need for themselves.” “How should we, and how can we, provide the services for each group in such a way that we do not give less than they require but also not more than they need, or , what is more important, wish from us.” Group 1: perceives the quality of service to be equal to the speed of delivery, is becoming smaller. Group 2: must do more than provide access and written instructions, especially if English is not their native language; need hands-on training; problem is lack of time—both for users and staff. Group 3: “It is enough to inform them about the new services and resources available….”

Ovaska, Tuulevi, Coping with different user habits and the changing user environment, Journal of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries 3(1):17-18, 2007.
Van den Brekel, Guus, Into the user environment now! how users have changed and how libraries can adjust, Journal of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries 3(1):8-16, 2007.

08 March 2007


I ran across the Information Literacy Website today. Here you will find a LOT of good information.
There is a link to the LIS-INFOLITERACY electronic list and its archives.
This is also the home of the brand-new Journal of Information Literacy, "an international, peer-reviewed, academic journal that aims to investigate Information Literacy (IL) within a wide range of settings." The first issue has two refereed articles: An evaluation of an information literacy training initiative at the University of Dar es Salaam and Using online collaborative learning to enhance information literacy delivery in a Level 1 module: an evaluation. There are also five "articles from practice" (one on online information literacy learning for nurses) and three book reviews.

Information Literacy Website, http://www.informationliteracy.org.uk/
Journal of Information Literacy, http://www.informationliteracy.org.uk/JIL.aspx
LIS-INFOLITERACY electronic list, http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/LIS-INFOLITERACY.html


The Office 2.0 Applications database has been developed by Ismael Chang Ghalimi [Intalio, Palo Alto, California], a writer on IT transformation. It is a great source of free online software.

The database includes the following (number of applications): 27 bookmark, 3 calculator, 13 calendar, 1 clipboard, 3 command prompt, 5 contact, 17 CRM, 9 database, 16 desktop, 1 desktop management, 10 development tool, 8 document manager, 7 drawing tool, 10 email, 9 expense tracker, 3 fax, 7 feed processor, 10 feed reader, 15 file manager, 8 file senders, 1 file server, 7 form designer, 14 group manager, 16 IM, 4 mind map, 6 music player, 21 notepad, 8 operating system, 6 outliner, 7 personal organizer, 7 photo editing, 10 photo manager, 7 polls, 17 presentation, 3 printer, 16 project, 2 scanner, 2 scheduler, 1 sound mixer,11 spreadsheet, 21 task manager, 9 time tracking, 11 utilities, 9 video editing, 9 voice mail, 3 web conferencing, 14 web publishing, 4 weblog, 10 word processor

URL: http://itredux.com/office-20/database/

07 March 2007

NEW FORUM FOR OPLS IN AUSTRALIA (and soon, elsewhere)

Denise Cadman, coordinator of the Queensland OPAL (One-Person Australian Librarians) group (part of ALIA, the Australian Library and Information Association), has created a new facility for the OPALs community, The OPALs Forum. The forum will give you the possibility to share your knowledge and get support from OPALs in Australia and abroad. OPALs in Australia have the opportunity to be the "early adopters" for this new initiative. Based on your participation and feedback, this facility could be extended to library OPALs globally. Please note that the forum is for OPALs only and you are required to register with your real name and an email address that can be used to identify you as an OPAL.

The forum will be a learning experience for all of us—this is ther first use of this forum software.

If anything doesn’t work as you think it should, or you would like to see additional features enabled in the forum software please post in a new thread.

To register for the OPAL Forum, go to http://forums.softlinkint.com
Once registered, access the OPAL Forum at http://forums.softlinkint.com/forumdisplay.php?f=10
If you need help to register, go to http://forums.softlinkint.com/video/registration.wmv to download the registration video.

I hope you will enjoy using the OPAL Forum!

05 March 2007


David Rothman has an interesting post, NurseLinkUp: My Space for Nurses, on his blog. He raises two questions for medical librarians.

Should medical librararies and librarians be establishing accounts in social networking sites such as NurseLinkUp, Sermo, Healtheva, Facebook, MySpace, or even Second Life? If so, what should we do there? How will our actions differ from those of academic and public library folk?

Will these sites even allow medical libraries or librarians to have accounts, or will these sites behave as Facebook did and remove their entries? (Saying that it was for “individuals,” not “faceless entities” like libraries.)

NurseLinkUp, http://www.nurselinkup.com
Sermo, http://www.sermo.com
Healtheva, http://www.healtheva.com
Facebook, http://www.facebook.com
MySpace, http://www.myspace.com
Second Life, http://secondlife.com


Envision Solutions has published a new survey, Diving Deeper Into Online Health Search: Examining Why People Trust Internet Content & The Impact of User-Generated Media. There are some frightening findings here. Read it at http://www.envisionsolutionsnow.com/healthsearch.html


Law Librarian NewzDigest provides news from around the world on library issues, knowledge management, and records management. Its sources are GoogleNews, Yahoo! News, vendors, and a couple of blogs, Law Librarian Blog and BeSpacific. It's from PinHawk and there is a two-week free trial available. PinHawk also has other services: Law Firm NewzDigest, Securities NewzDigest, Corporate Legal NewzDigest, Court Opinions NewzDigest, Law Firm Press NewzDigest, and Banking NewzDigest. It's worth a try...

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