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February 28, 2007

Hennepin County Library Launches New Online Community

Bookspace.org is a new site created by Hennepin County Library, launched on Valentine's Day, that is breaking new ground on the (social) web by creating a virtual book club for HCL patrons and those of bookish nature. You do not need an HCL library card to sign up or participate.

From Library Journal:

Bookspace.org [is a place where] book heads can "create and connect with an online reading community by posting your own book lists and reading books lists submitted by staff and other readers." Users can post comments on what they're reading, sign up for email alerts on new books by their favorite authors, and receive daily excerpts from books via email. HCL said it is celebrating the launch in conjunction with February's I Love To Read month, and is inviting users "to contribute a book list to post on the new website—your favorite books or what you're currently reading. Email a photo of yourself reading in a favorite place, too." Residents of Hennepin County who contribute will be entered into a drawing for prizes including an MP3 player, book lights, tickets to the Library Foundation of HCL's "Pen Pals" author lecture series, and coupons for a free rental of a Bestseller Express title. Free BookSpace.org buttons and bookmarks will be available at all 26 Hennepin County libraries.

WorldCat Registry offers management of organizational data

DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, 26 February 2007—OCLC has launched the WorldCat Registry, a comprehensive directory for libraries and consortia, and the services they provide. The WorldCat Registry will help libraries and consortia manage and share data that define their organizations--such as institution type, location, URLs for electronic services, circulation statistics, and population served--through a single, authoritative Web platform.

Profile data in the WorldCat Registry can include details such as branch library locations that can be used as part of WorldCat.org, the Web service that allows free access to the world's richest resource for finding materials held in libraries, enabling searchers to find what they need at the nearest library.

"The Registry was created to help libraries and other cultural heritage institutions make themselves more visible on the Web, and to ease libraries' administrative burdens associated with providing the same types of information to many sources," said Chip Nilges, Vice President, OCLC New Services. "Using data from the WorldCat Registry, WorldCat.org will expand its location listings and make it possible for Web searchers to locate, with greater accuracy, the library nearest them."

The Registry also helps solve an increasingly common administrative burden for libraries and library groups: keeping multiple institutional identities up to date across different internal and third-party applications and through a variety of methods, including Web interfaces, faxed paper forms and phone calls.

"Libraries, consortia, and electronic content vendors all need to maintain current files of information such as computer-network IP addresses, local administrative contacts, and size of the user community," said Celeste Feather, Electronic Resources Librarian at The Ohio State University Libraries. "The problem for libraries is that they are expected to maintain this information in many places if they want to ensure reliable service. Vendors also need an efficient way to maintain this information in their systems."

"A centralized database such as the WorldCat Registry for this type of information would facilitate efficient sharing of critical information among many interested parties. If widely adopted, the Registry service could provide a solution to a difficult workflow issue for librarians," said Ms. Feather.

Any institution or consortium—OCLC members and non-members alike—can use the WorldCat Registry to share their profile with other libraries, technology vendors, e-content providers, funding agencies, and other parties that could benefit from access. A WorldCat Registry profile is shared via a special Web link that provides instant, read-only access to the most current data.

A WorldCat Registry profile will let an institution or consortium maintain and share information, such as:

Institution name, "also known as" alias, and type
Identifying codes issued by industry organizations
Physical location
Consortial memberships
Parent-child relationships (main and branch institutions)
Computer-network IP addresses
Web-based services such as online catalog, "Ask-a" virtual reference and OpenURL servers
Budgetary and service statistics
Administrative contacts
Sensitive information such as personal IP addresses and contact names, phone numbers or e-mail addresses are not made publicly available in the WorldCat Registry.

Web services that allow the query and retrieval of specific Registry data by online applications are also available. Two Web services have been released for free, non-commercial use as part of the WorldCat Affiliate Program at http://worldcat.org/affiliate/default.jsp.

Visit the WorldCat Registry at http://worldcat.org/registry/institutions.

February 27, 2007

March teleconferences

Sunshine Week 2007

Closed Doors; Open Democracies?

Topics include:
The program will focus on access to government information, including the impact of government suppression and manipulation of scientific information on public health and safety - and accountability. The dialogue will start with a lively discussion of the issues and end with ideas for action.


College of DuPage Teleconference

Library Challenges & Opportunities 2007

Library Transformation: Making it Happen?

Description: A discussion on library transformation, not as
an abstraction or buzz word, but as something real with hard,
practical things necessary to make it happen, will be
discussed. The presenters will spell out what needs to happen
in facilities, budgets staffing management and leadership to
make transformation a reality.

Sunshine Week 2007

Closed Doors; Open Democracies?

Monday, March 12, 2007
12:00 PM- 1:30 PM (Central Time)
S30B Wilson Library
West Bank Area, University of Minnesota

Topics include:
The program will focus on access to government information, including the impact of government suppression and manipulation of scientific information on public health and safety - and accountability. The dialogue will start with a lively discussion of the issues and end with ideas for action.

To learn more about the teleconference visit: http://openthegovernment.org/article/subarchive/94

Panelists: TBA

Fee: No charge; registration is required.

To register to attend this teleconference at Wilson Library, go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/teleconference.

Also, other regional downlink sites are available. See below for more details.

Minnesota Coalition on Government Information
Hosted at Metropolitan State University Library
645 East 7th Street, St. Paul, MN
To register, contact: Mary Treacy, mtreacy@onvoy.com

College of DuPage Teleconference

Library Challenges & Opportunities 2007

Library Transformation: Making it Happen?

Friday, March 23, 2007, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

S30B Wilson Library, West Bank Area, U. of Minn.

Description: A discussion on library transformation, not as
an abstraction or buzz word, but as something real with hard,
practical things necessary to make it happen, will be
discussed. The presenters will spell out what needs to happen
in facilities, budgets staffing management and leadership to
make transformation a reality.

Moderator Richard M. Dougherty, Dougherty and Associates
Speaker Leslie Burger, Director of the Princeton Public
Library in Princeton, New Jersey. As President of ALA
• Other presenters TBA

Fee: No charge; registration is required.

To register to attend this teleconference at Wilson Library,
go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/

To register to stream to your desktop, go to
Residents of MN, ND, and SD will not be charged; please do
not complete the billing information section of the web
form. College of DuPage will forward links directly to

Other Regional Downlink Sites
NLLN and Fargo-Moorhead Tri-College Libraries
Moorhead, MN
To register, visit: http://nlln.org/continuinged.html

University of Minnesota-Duluth Library
contact: Sue Trettel, 218-726-8130, strettel@d.umn.edu

St. CloudState University Library and CMLE
To register, contact: Jennifer Schwint,

SMILE Mankato, MN
To register, contact: smile@tds.lib.mn.us

Augustana College Library
Sioux Falls, SD
* All teleconferences except April 13.
To register, contact: Judith Howard, 605-274-4382,

February 26, 2007

New IM Chat Window

A lot of people have commented about the new Meebo Me chat window I placed on this blog. It's a great way of having an ever present chat window on any and all of your web pages. When a user asks a question the default name given is "Meeboguest" so they can stay annonymous. Users also have the option of editing that and adding a different name if they choose.

Another neat feature of the chat window is that if I'm away from desk and not available to answer the user's question it will let them know I've stepped away for the moment.

Give it a whirl sometime and let me know your thoughts!


Have you heard of Del.icio.us? When I was going through the Library 2.0 webinar recently, I asked people if they had used that site. I hadn't included the information about it in the webinar thinking that it was an external source that really isn't something libraries can use or promote to patrons. I changed my mind. Actually, it's a great way to get librarians and library staff involved in social networking.

If you have ever bookmarked a website then you want to know about this great resource. Del.icio.us is a site that allows users (you, me, anyone on the internet) to create an account and start bookmarking any and all pages you use or come across that you want to retain. It is like the bookmark function on your browser but it is web-based and there is more to it than just that.

When you create a Del.icio.us account you are able to begin bookmarking webpages that you commonly use and visit as well as other pages you may run across and want to refer to later. Not only have those pages been bookmarked but they accessible from any location. When you use a browser to bookmark pages, they are specific to that computer. With Del.icio.us bookmarks, you can log in from any computer to access your bookmarks. You may have a computer at work with a set of bookmarks and a computer at home with another set of bookmarks. Del.icio.us can combine them in one account. Also, by adding the Del.icio.us button and TAG button to your browser window you are automatically logged into your account and bookmarking pages becomes a one click process.

If you would like to know more about Del.icio.us you can read the full article in February's issue of MINITEX Reference Notes. When you start a free account with Del.icio.us you have the option of downloading the toolbar on your browser. My suggestion would be to download the toolbar so that you can add pages as easily as bookmarking them and have quick access to all your tagged pages.

February 23, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

A documentary not only worth seeing but also a must have for your collections!


An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
with Al Gore, directed by Davis Guggenheim

From IMDB:
A documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

"In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"In the movie he is merely excellent. But in person...he presents a combination of intellectual force, emotional vibrancy and moral urgency that has hardly been seen in American public life in recent years." - David Denby, The New Yorker

"one of the most important films ever." - Larry King

"[Al Gore] he is not only forcing us to confront the problem, he is also looking for realistic solutions ... [Gore] firmly believes that environmental responsibility and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive." - Amanda Gefter, New Scientist

"I was skeptical that Al Gore was really going to change how I thought about global warming. I was wrong. I now believe that An Inconvenient Truth is the most important film that anyone will see this year. We have become accustomed to hearing about global warming in a muted, disconnected way ... but at last someone has marshalled all the fragments of information and woven it into a single, breathtaking whole. ... we can only comprehend global warming if we take the widest possible view, and we can't access that viewpoint while wearing party-political blinders."
- Dave Hoskin, Metro

Minnesota Population Center

Check out this public resource!

From the MPC:

The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) is a University-wide interdisciplinary cooperative for demographic research. The MPC serves sixty faculty members and research associates from ten colleges and nineteen departments at the University of Minnesota, and employs nearly a hundred research support staff, including computer programmers and technicians, administrative staff, research assistants, and data-entry staff. As a leading developer and disseminator of demographic data, we also serve a broader audience of some 6,000 demographic researchers worldwide.

Spring forward with RUSA online courses

From RUSA:

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) offers participants the opportunity to focus on their professional growth this spring by registering for one of the following Internet-based continuing education courses:

Business Reference 101
February 12 - March 9, 2007 and April 30 - May 25, 2007

A business reference course for library staff and researchers that teaches the process of business research and about both free and fee-based resources.

Marketing Basics for Library

April 3 - May 4, 2007

A new RUSA online course designed as an introduction to marketing, which focuses on the uses of marketing and explains basic marketing tenets using the framework of libraries. A course project will involve students creating a marketing plan for a library.

Reference Interview
March 12 - April 6, 2007

This course focuses on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need. The courses provide social interaction during scheduled chat sessions with the instructor and other students, which allows students in the United States and overseas to share information and ideas on practices used in their organization, state or country.

**The registration prices for a course is $130 for RUSA members, $160 for ALA members, $190 for non-ALA members and $100 for students and retirees. For more information or to register, visit:

RUSA, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is a leading association for reference and user services professionals. To learn more about RUSA, visit http://www.ala.org/rusa.

February 14, 2007

Web, Library, and Teen Services 2.0

Young Adult Library Services; Winter2007, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p40-43, 4p
By: Bolan, Kimberly; Canada, Meg (Hennepin County Librarian); Cullin, Rob

The article provides information about three online information services for teenagers which include Web 2.0. Library 2.0 and Teen Services 2.0 in the U.S. Web 2.0 is the next generation of Internet-based services, such as networking sites, wikis, folksonomies, tagging and interactive web services, that allow online collaboration and sharing of information. Library 2.0 was developed through the inspiration of Michael Casey and its elements are customer service, podcasting and its latest services gaming. Teen Services 2.0 focuses on the participation of teenagers by listening to the different needs, wants and ideas to design a program that fits their needs.

Reminder to let us know when you or a colleague publishes an article so we can give you kudos!

February 13, 2007

The Inspired Librarian

Another blog to check out: The Inspired Librarian by Sally Daniels. Daniels is a school library media specialist in New York. She has blogged on some interesting topics and links to helpful sites and resources.

The Blue Skunk Blog

Check out Doug Johnson's The Blue Skunk Blog

From his bio: Doug Johnson has been the Director of Media and Technology for the Mankato Public Schools since 1991 and has served as an adjunct faculty member of Minnesota State University, Mankato since 1990.


At a recent conference I had the pleasure of meeting two representatives from ISEEK. Check out their site!

This description from their website:

ISEEK, the Internet System for Education and Employment Knowledge, is a web-based gateway to Minnesota career, employment, education, and business development information and services. The Internet system helps you make smart choices about careers, employment, education, and business growth.

ISEEK provides information in four main areas:

  • explore careers

  • plan your education

  • find a job

  • grow your business
  • To learn more about ISEEK visit: What is ISEEK?

    School Library 2.0

    Check out the School Library Journal 2006 Webcast series on blogs, podcasts, and wikis and how these can be used in the classroom at:


    Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will find links to the following webcasts:

  • Blogs - Host: Will Richardson, well-known presenter on the ed-tech circuit and author of the popular blog weblogg-ed. (posted October 15, 2006)
  • Podcasts - Host: Sarah Chauncey, library media specialist, Grandview Elementary School, East Ramapo, NY. (posted November 15, 2006)
  • Wikis - Host: Wendy Stephens, librarian, Buckhorn High School, New Market, AL. (posted December 15, 2006)
  • NASA

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration provides some terrific resources for kids, students, educators, and researchers. Check out their homepage and the left navigation bar for these resources. Some of these resources include homework help, Internet and multimedia resources, learning and student opportunities, contacts for students and educators, career information, research assistance, and professional development. You can also find these resources at NASA Education.


    WebJunction Minnesota has a brand new look!

    Check it out at: http://mn.webjunction.org

    (C)ollectanea!: Collected Perspectives On Copyright

    From Marvin Stewart, Event Specialist at Center for Intellectual Property, University of Maryland University College -

    The Center for Intellectual Property (CIP) at the University of Maryland University College is excited to announce the launch of a new blog portal addressing the cultural, political and legal context of copyright issues:

    (c)ollectanea! http://chaucer.umuc.edu/blogcip/collectanea/

    The new (c)ollectanea blog will serve as an online discussion platform for the current and future Center for Intellectual Property scholars. Today, join one of the leading copyright scholars in the country, Georgia Harper, as she provides insight and leads discussions with guest bloggers on issues relating to copyright generally, with a specific focus on issues facing the education and library communities. Georgia K. Harper serves as the CIP 2006-2008 Intellectual Property Virtual Scholar and the Scholarly Communications Advisor for the University of Texas at Austin Libraries. Previously, Ms. Harper specialized in copyright law and created the well known and widely used online publication, The Copyright Crash Course, for the University of Texas

    CIP is one of the leading online educational centers providing training, and solutions on copyright issues affecting the higher education community. This new blog, (c)ollectanea, furthers the Center's mission to provide timely copyright resources for educators. Although the blog will address the needs of the education and library communities, all are welcome to engage in the discussion and contribute.

    Share your thoughts on copyright issues. Join the blog group, (c)ollectanea, collected perspectives on copyright.


    New IM Chat Window

    I've added a new IM chat window to the blog. Now, when I'm available, anyone can IM. It's a MeeboMe widget. More information about the widget can be found here: http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/08/02/meebo-launches-meebome. This is a great tool to add to your library's website, on any and every page so patrons can quickly ask questions from their computer. You can even add the widget to your MySpace page!

    February 12, 2007

    New Webinar: R U Ready? Setting Up and Running an Instant Message Reference Service

    Here is the description of the new IM webinar:

    Have you considered starting a Digital Reference service for your library but not sure where to begin? Instant Messaging is a great way to get introduced into the world of Digital Reference. You can even create individual IM accounts to stay in contact with staff. In this new webinar, developed by MINITEX staff, learn just how easy it is to set up an Instant Message reference service for your library. We will look at the different IM providers available, ways of delivering service, staffing, training, policies and more. Session length will be 60 minutes which includes time for discussion and questions.

    Currently, sessions are scheduled through the end of February but more will be added for March. If you are interested in registering visit our Upcomining Webinars website.

    YouTube Video: Web 2.0 as Explained by an Anthropologist

    This is really cool. Something we've been passing around here at MINITEX and I thought I would pass on to you:

    February 1, 2007

    School Media Podcast

    From the MEMO list
    A school media podcast is now available online at http://web.stcloudstate.edu/schoolmediapodcast/. These podcasts are designed to share information and best practices among media specialists, teachers, and administrators from around Minnesota and beyond! There will be one podcast posted each month featuring a new guest. There are currently two posts—one of Mert Thompson, Professor of Information Media at St. Cloud State University discussing the relationship between the media specialist and the classroom teacher, and the other featuring Don Clausen of Jefferson High School in Alexandria, MN talking about virtual media centers. You may either listen to the podcasts at your computer or download them to an MP3 player.