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June 27, 2007

Blogs to Watch

Wondering what blogs to read?  PC World just announced their list of top 100 blogs to watch.  Among which are three of my personal favorites: Slashdot, Engadget and ReadWriteWeb.  To read the complete list with descriptions and links, click: http://tech.msn.com/news/articlepcw.aspx?cp-documentid=5051140&GT1=10138

June 25, 2007

See it, Hear it, Touch it: How do Communication and Learning Styles Affect Virtual Reference?

3 speakers:
Eileen G Abels
Associate Professor
iSchool at Drexel
Drexel University

Marie Radford
Associate Professor & Library Consultant
School of Communication
Information & Library Studies
Rutgers University

Lynn Westbrook
Assistant Professor
School of Information
University of Texas – Austin

Joe Thompson
Project Coordinator: Maryland AskUsNow!
Co-chair, RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Committee

Description: Out increasingly texh savvy virtual reference users have radically different communication and learning preferences. A lively panel of experts will explore new learning options, present recent research findings, and recommend innovative approaches relevant for all types of libraries.

Panel Discussion Sponsored by: RUSA’s MARS/RSS Virtual Reference Committee, RSS Cooperative Reference Committee, and ACRL’s Instruction Section

First, series of 6 prearranged questions – hear responses, then look at audience’s questions.

1. What do we know about users’ communication and learning styles that is important for guiding decisions about library services?

MR: based off her research: Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives
-youngest group, screenages 12-18, millennial group heavy users of chat and im
-most studied generation in history
-like more choice and selectivity
-don’t pay as much attention to grammar and spelling
-grew up in a world that’s customized/customizable – tv, ringtones…
-worship convenience
-want to do it themselves
-very practical, results oriented

-we should offer as broad variety of services as we can
-they want to be assured that our services are secure for them to use – no cyberstalkers
-appeal to their desire to save time
-be positive – tell them what you can do, not what you can’t – they’re very enthusiastic and we want to encourage that
-build personal relationships – we are not robots
-if they like our service they will return and they will tell their friends

EA: very different styles of users, our types and styles are going to have to vary to accommodate

LW: information resolutions – look at what they’re doing in their own environments – social comfort, cyber safety
-many different aspects involved in working on the internet
-need to feel comfortable and safe
-need help w getting to localized info, govt, resources
-we can be that bridge in how they learn and think about getting to info
-talking about people in crisis, social crisis situations

2. How do the communication styles of librarians influence the provision of vr services?

EA: who offers chat reference services? Some libs feel like they’re being forced into this offering this service. Does this differ from those that freely offer it?
-is it different than the different venues of offering the service, phone, email, desk…
-it will be a better service if the libs. Are on the same style
-many of the students going to be libs did change their preferences – communication styles – most preferred at beginning of course ftf, at end of course – digital
-training helps to find what works best for them (libs.)
training tool at Drexel:
-overall they were using google as search tool of choice – not selecting appr. Source/tool
-going straight for an answer not a source – lack of understanding of invisible web
-not determining the authority of the author/publisher of info on the web
-confusing authoritative sites w those supported by ads

MR: -in study next to ftf they found chat to be a great way of building a relationship and get comfortable in using the service (lib side)

EA: -what makes us uncomfortable in doing chat? Letting your hair down
-losing library as place, no physical place
-we’re suppose to step up and have those signs that we will be there as the librarian in the physical space
-we’ve lost that symbolism of what our role is
-looking for the way of saying I’ll help you, this is my job, may feel that we are losing that thru chat
-best communication style is actually getting their need met
-what they’re saying matters, the lib is listening
-need to get that responsiveness across in chat
-we need to let go of the nervousness, they’ll see it

MR: our need is to do the instruction, their need is to get that info
-Only 25% of users use more than one search term

3. What threatens or supports the users’ sense of self-efficacy in an exchange?

LW: what does self-efficacy mean? We take that for granted, we need them to feel better about how they get info, not just getting their need met
-their understanding of what info is and how it’s structured is part of the self-efficacy
-what can we do to help?
-when there is a viable opportunity engage them, make them active in the process
-ask what will make that relevant/useful to them
-give them things that contrast w each other
-“do you need a scholarly article on this or a whole book on it?”
-make them think thru the different parts of the info –make that a teachable moment
-offer differentiated choices
-clarity of purpose, role, relationship
-acknowledgement of domain knowledge, preferences, requirements,
-focus on tool/process, not problem
-rush to closure, no time for scaffolding
-poor reciporcation of self-disclosure, tone
-hiding clay feet – don’t fake it

-understanding library terms – didn’t understand reference – librarians need to think like their users’ do
-barrier of understanding/communication

MR: libs. Are hesitant to do a referral
-a chat question should really be done in email or ftf
-you’re doing them a disservice if you don’t refer
-the average, mean time for chat is 12.5 minutes which is close to the mean of ftf
-apply ftf terms to chat terms

handouts will be provided on the committee’s website

4. What might be problematic or supportive in what librarians are doing?

MR: I’ve been studying this question for 20 yrs.
-what can we do? I can’t overemphasize this
-the way you begin the session is critical, must be positive
-set positive tone from beginning
-develop personal relationship – be personal, personal need, be open
-be prepared

-what to expect from screenagers?
Higher numbers/averages
-polite expressions
-alternate spellings
-educate them that we’re real, not robots

Lower numbers/averages

how do libs. Treat screenagers
-don’t do the correction if they made a mistake…
-seeking reassurance/confirmation self-disclosure
-inviting to return
-informal lang
-abrupt ending
bottom line:
-positive approach will limit problematic behavior
teach users how to use vr
set expectations for vr
ultimately in 1 to 1 interactions we forge the future in vr

EA: what is problematic or supportive
-take a look at the website and make sure that info is easy to get to
-are we meeting the needs of reality in vr
-are services easy to find?
-chat interactions – if we continue to use google, free resources what will happen to our collection budget? May become problematic

LW: we have a lot of barriers to service, various reasons – we know why but the user doesn’t know why
-we need to bring the user w us, explain what we’re doing let them see what we’re doing
-they know their role

audience question: What are your thoughts of users using screen names in chat?
MR: using their first name makes it personal
-younger users like it when you use their first name back
-screen name vs avitar name
-definitely use a personal name
-look like a real person than a robot

LW: -definitely, also let’s them remember you when/if they want to get back to you
-you are somebody, they can send you an email later, follow up
-they can do that if you give them a way to do that

JT: we were asked to add personal names from our cooperative so users know who we are
-use names vs initials – staff we’re afraid – you can use a fake name, that’s ok

aq: what’s the best way of asking a question?

LW: give users viable options
-get them closer to what they want, where they want to go

MR: query clarification – accuracy is boosted a lot by clarifying/paraphrasing
-where have you already looked, good ol’ open questions are good at the beginning
-closed questions are good near end
-boosts accuracy

EA: rather than asking too many questions, make sure you’re getting at the right questions and answers
-it’s frustrating if you’re sending the wrong answer

MR: low percentage of hurry up’s

Aq: ideas for training staff to recognize and ajust to the user

EA: need to practice
-a lot of the schools aren’t providing the hands-on experiences
-training programs should have people working on these
-practice helps with different styles
-providing the opportunity for learning and feedback

MR: we have a lot of these skills developed in other areas, ftf – look at face
-mirror their behavior, look at their behavior and mirror that
-if they say, k – say k instead of ok , little things we can do
-challenge because we can’t see them

LW: I think it’s really useful to get them to be the customer
-libs. Try chatting with other commercial areas, car dealers, cable company
-they will live it and see it from the user’s point of view
-look at some other places that offer chat and try it – it gives you a different perspective

JT: you can try a secret shopper in chat

EA: role reversal
-if you don’t knowwhat they’re searching or doing it may make you impatient

MR: phone conferencing, what are you doing that while your on the phone conference?
-the younger they are the more likelihood they have 10-12 screens open

LW: they’re multitasking…

5. How do user’s and librarian’s expectations influence vr transactions (especially when those expectations may be established thru use of google, wikipedia, im social networks?)

LW: if it doesn’t work for them, then they have failed
-it’s a seemless world that they need to fit into
-mcdonald’s, homogenize look for response
-it gives them an expectation of choice, they feel that they should have options, choice
-natural tension
-choices in process, product, media
net communication pattern influences
-blurring of task and social purposes
-unclear on narrative structure of disclosure
-privacy and control

-we’re use to a narrative approach, beginning, middle, ending
-that’s not the way they function, they come in, im, go out, check back, dip in, dip out
-privacy – they think they have more than they do

MR: the user has a narrative too they just have a different ending
-a lot of the times when they come to us they are frustrated, looking at it from their perspective
-immediacy, instanteousy, instant gratification
-we have to tell them if it’s a quick question or not
-they don’t have that good perspective and we need to share that w them

EA: pew internet researches this a lot and should look at their site
-self-service is a big trend, counter to reference
-develop a well-designed website
-alternatives to meet their expectations

JT: time expecatations during session, tell the user that
-during that keep them in touch of still searching

aq: for EA: is the citation available in your search term
EA: Amanda sfink(?) not sure, email me I’ll get it

MR: end user, 25% were only using one search term – eustof

JT: for EA: how do user expectations effect learning styles

EA: on ala website, listed various partners for learning opportunities
-a partnership approach is the best way to go
-we were successful in the hands-on component but didn’t have specialized training needs for academic or public, best to go thru org and vendor
-in Internet Public Library– got grant to help transform the training materials for lis programs
ipl student assistance, link to training materials
-training opportunities in the classes there were different learning styles
-telephone conference least preferred method
-online tutorial – short – people learned well w those
-using them w end users keeping them under 5 mins. Kept them interest

MR: w vr we have the lone ranger approach
-recommends double teaming
-if there is a team in your lib doing vr ask them to be in the same room w you as you do it to watch what each other does
-they have tricks, learning from each other
-you can learn a lot that way

LW: think of it as a staged effort
-it’s building something, weaving something
-pulling the pieces together gradually
-give yourself permission to do it, growth that is continuous

JT: continuous training is probably the hardest part, refresher training
-instead of vendor training, useful if someone from you own org. does training to provide perspective

Buff Hirko: virtual reference adventure, make sure you visit this site! There’s also a book

MR: moodle and noodle – they are open source blackboard tools

8. How can we best leverage traditional vs virtual including web 2.0 applications and services to attract yound people to physical as well as digital libraries, given their communcication preferendce and learning styles?

MR: how do we attract people to the vr arena
-broad variety of traditional & VRS – ftf, group, phone, chat, im… - promote phone ref now – everyone has a cell phone – tell your students to add lib phone # to their address book – then tell them about lib hours and services
-go where users are – young are online
-more research, pew shown, 90% of younger people go to the internet for info, not turning to the physical for info, also call a friend (someone they know) before a lib
-feeling like they are not welcomed in the lib
-try something different, reinvent –staffing options – software options (free vs fee) – evaluate everything, reassess
-declare all ref alive & well – renew focus on commitment to service excellence(!!!!)
-embrace change & new challenges
-build personal relationships

aq: do you have any ideas of purposing chat to admins that have already decided they don’t want it
EA: conduct user study
-see what peers are doing
-have a plan in mind, design a study – look at software, chat vs im
-not opt for 24/7 initially, have a plan on offering a service

aq: how to encourage reluctant staff to be involved?

EA: you can’t force libs. To offer the service and have a high quality service
-they won’t do it justice
-they should be exposed to it, seen libs. Convert over time
-those that like chat ref are doing that
-go w strengths but expose them

MR: shadow libs. With experienced chat libs and non
-experimental trial to see what users say about it – mostly get positive responses

JT: we make sure to send out positive service comments out monthly

Panelists: if you have questions you want the researchers to address contact them

One last question:
What questions is it perceived ok for libs. To ask about during the vr exchange? What questions is it ok for users to ask?

LW: there’s that face, I’m ok you’re ok
-when asking for clarification, that’s that balancing, it’s helpful
-the way we mess it up is when we assume too much trust, expectations too high
-when we need the facts we need to give them context and recipocate
-when they want to know what they can ask us – we need to tell them that they can ask us anything and pull them thru
-tie them in all the way thru, that partnership

JT: ties in with what were discussing next year in Anaheim
-we would like to hear from you if there is one idea that was useful, helpful – you will take away today
audience: continual training, always getting people back to refresh

-idea of change of state of lib. Stereotype of lib.

-cellphone number

-working on im scripts, can’t have but encourage staff to have a closure statement
EA: let users know you are using a script
JT: scripts were useful to not type so much but also helpful to see tone to use, reminders
MR: using expressions instead of formal lang.

Presentation slides and contact info of this session will be posted at the RUSA website: http://tinyurl.com/2h7d2y

June 24, 2007

ALA President's Presentation: Robert F Kennedy Jr

ALA President, Leslie Berger:
-discussion on environmental policies
-tranform libraries/comunities - create advocates
-emerging leaders group - identified 120 issues to work with
-looking for new emerging leaders, find info on pres' website
ALA's 1st agenda for 21st century libraries:
-fully articulated national library agenda as we receive more feedback, give yours
-visit her site for more info about Library Transformers program

Dana Gioia, president of NEA - talking about The Big Read program
-partnering with libraries to get public to read books, more about that at website
-need libraries to sign up

Robert F Kennedy Jr named Time Mag's heros for the planets in the success of helping Hudson River project - The River Keeper's
-we're not protecting the environment for the sake of the fish and the bird's we're protecting it because we recognize it as the foundation of our planet
-the worst thing that can happen to the envir. is that it becomes the province of one party
-you can't talk honestly @ the environ. w/o speaking critically @ the current administration
-concerted effort to eviscerate the last 30 yrs. of environment work is happening at the white house
-white house appointees in environmental areas are full of anti-environmental/pro-corporate Bush friends
-top 100 environ. officials in this govt are the worst actors w/in each of those industries
-their jobs are not to support the public interest but enrich the pres' policies and agenda
-"liberal media" - there's no such thing, a few things but there is a "right wing media" - talk radio is 90% controlled by the right
-decline begann in 1988 abolish the fairness doctrine by reagan -fairness doctrine included:
1. had to air news of public interest - doesn't include paris hilton - means news critical ofr us making rational choices
2. giving an opinion you had to give both sides
3. you had to avoid consolidation - keep diversity of control (localized)
-reagan abolished it as a favor to christian right and big studio heads
-results: consolidated to 5 guys deciding the news we get
-news dept. have become corp. profit centers
-got rid of foreign news bureaus - none anymore, we rely on bbc

we're the leaders of the free world but we don't know what's going on in the world

-we don't hear about the critical issues that pertains to groups instead the entertain us w celebs

we know more about tom cruise and katy than we do about global warming

you cannot have a democracy for very long w/o an informed public

-he gets the same replies from republicans that he does from liberals

republicans are just democrats who don't know what's going on

-10 lowest diverce rate states were all blue states - 10 highest were red states
-10 lowest teen preg. rates were all blue states - 10 highest were red states
-the real difference was information deficit
-this is an informational issue
-huge information deficit among people who voted for bush - believed sadam hussein bombed the world trade center - bush strongly supported the kioto pact
-getting their info. from fox news and talk radio
-posed to them said what if sadam hussein didn't bomb the world trade center - they said we should not go in to iraq
-the value of the info is the key

-T. jefferson - not to deprvie the public their rights but to forcibly apply them - you are a danger to all if you don't have/know you're rights
-i'm highly paraphrasing hear - he's talking real fast

on his air america radio show he talks about coal burning plants
-he has asthma, 1 out of 3 black children have it
-400 coal burning plants burning illeagally
-clinton admin was processing the worst 52 of them
-bush was being given $$ from this group - he came in and ordered the cases dropped
-bush dropped the clean air act so now those plants don't have to meet any level requirements
-bush's decision to drop this kills 18000 americans every year 6x's the # from 9/11
-epa announced 19 states fish unsafe because of mercury
-all states but wyoming some or all fish unsafe to eat - wyoming not tested don't know figures - cheney's state
-every woman of child bearing years should get mercury levels tested. you can getting them tested thru his website

-accd. to cdc there are thousands of children born in this country every year exposed to dangerous levels of mercury
-this industry donated $100 million to bush campaign - bush admin is scrapping clinton program

-adironacks - protected area - today 1/5th of lakes there are steril and bush has rolled back the provisions protecting the area

-story of suing west virginia coal mining industries over filling river beds with coal waste and how the judges decision was overturned by change in definition of the term "fill" in the clean air act making it legal - read his book!!!

goodd environ. policy is identical to good economic policy

enivon. injury is deficit spending - quick cash for years of disaster we/our kids may not recover from

free market is the most efficient and democratic way to distrib. the goods of the land
-poluters make themselves rich by lowering the quality for everyone else - somebody cheating the free market and getting a free ride, a subsidy

-he's losing his voice

river keepers - catch the cheaters - internalize your costs the same way you internalize your profits

-no such thing as the common good, community-owned resources

-we should not let corps. run our govt - they don't want free market - they want profits
t. roosevelt - said that ameica would never be destroyed by a foreign enemy
f. roosevelt said during wwii that the donination of the govt by corp power is the essence of facism

-we need and informed public that can recognize all the milestones of tyranny and we need an independent and aggressive press that wis willing to stand up to the power
we no longer have that in the u.s.

nature enriches us - economically , yes - also esthically, culturally, spiritually
-we destroy nature we diminish ourselves
-we fight for environ. because we believe the trees will have more value in the ground than torn out

- i don't want my kids to grow up in a world with no commercial fisherman on the shores or family farms

-we know ourselves best by immersing ourselves in creation - great piece on god speaking to us through nature and art... we can not cut ourselves off from that

jesus was challenging those of his day which were religious fundementalists
-religion at it's best is a search for the truth - fundamentaalism is an end to that - there is all there is we need to know

-we are rooted in nature in this country, that's (one of the places) our values come from - an american democracy came out of the forest

-nature is the critically defining theme

this admis: ruthless capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich - they have violate every part that mandates the christian faith

230 yrs of discipline vision of democracy of both dems. and repubs. has been washed away in the last 6 years from this admin.

-this admin are war hogs, like war but want others to fight it for them, they don't understand the idea of america - the idea that america was born on.
-these people don't understand what makes america worth fighting for - they are ok with taking away rights, habius corpus... because we're in danger
-but we're not we were when we had 25,000 nuclear warheads pointin at us but we didn't wiretap or torchure....

got get his book, i didn't do his speach justice

Harnessing the Hive: Social Networks and Libraries

3 speakers:
Matthew Bejune, Purdue University Libraries
url: LibraryWikis
-examples of library wikis are here
-librarians are encouraged to contribute library wikis they know of that aren't listed here (password: LWcontrib)

Meredith Farkas, Queen of Wikis, maintains Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki, blogs at Information Wants to be Free
url: meredithfarkas.wetpaint.com - presentation slides and resources can be found here

Tim Spalding web developer and publisher, founder of LibraryThing

This conversation about this presentation will continue at the Talking Reference &... - RUSA blog - look under the category of Social Networking

Matthew B.:
Libraries & Wikis
Collected examples - 35 total - research from 1-2 yrs ago - many more blogs since then

Identified 4 types of library wikis:
1.) Collaboration between libraries - 45.7%
-ex. ALA wiki where librarians from anywhere can contribute
2.) Collaboration between staff - 31.4%
-internal communications
3.) Collaboration between library staff & patrons - 14.3%
-ex. St. Joseph County PL
4.) Collaboration between patrons - 8.6%

Questions to ponder (he doesn't have the answers):
-where are the wikis used in categories 3 & 4?
-how might we allow users to build/modify library info? - control factor - open the door to let patrons add info/contribute
-in what ways will libraries next utilize wikis & other social networking technologies?
-how long before your library implements some form of a wiki?

Meredith F:
She's all about Knowledge Management (KM)
-all orgs. Want to make the best use of institutional knowledge
-all libs. Have different areas of interest & expertise
-our patrons have lots of knowledge that would be useful to other patrons
-we usually are pretty terrible at collecting this knowledge

Info Sharing is great but how do we capture/keep all that info?
-one-on-one conversations
-staff meetings
-IM, Twitter, etc...
-scraps of paper at the ref. desk

Blogs are great - for short term info

How are we collecting out knowledge for the long term?
ex. Aadl.org (get link)
-allowing patrons to tag things in the catalog
-"users who checked out this book also checked out" - taken straight from amazon - don't be afraid of this - technology is good enough to strip away private info so we can capture and use this info - don't have to hide this
ex. HCL's bookspage (get link)
-best reader's advisory site (in the whole wide world!)
-letting our user's doing their reader's advisory for us
-allowing comments in the catalog and is being heavily used
ex. RocWiki (get link) Rochester Wiki
-guide to Rochester community - anyone can contribute
-people can ask questions and other members answer
-very similar to a community board
-good ex. For a library to base off of - team up w community
ex. BizWiki (get link)
-guides to different types of research
-grt site because of the collaborative nature - having faculty and students add to the resources
-search option
-assign catefories to each page to make it easier to browse
ex. PennTags (get link)
-social bookmarking site for campus community
-create tags
-organize your own research
-see what others have done
-results show up in catalog
-letting your users do your work for you (in a sense - we get to learn from them too!)

Wiki as Intranet
-share procedures & policies
-share basic info
-share knowledge about ref. resources - assignments students are coming to desk about - ref. sources in subject expertise (that you may have little knowledge of)

*it can take time to build KM behavior into the organizational workflow
-takes formal training
-working it into the daily workflow

Tim S:
Founder of LibraryThing
-it's like MySpace for books & book lovers
-sharing books w people and groups
-connected to people thru this site
-get to use high quality metadata and tags
-they call it "social cataloging" (room laughs)
-knowledge is a conversation - don't just say what you know - how to thesis
-libraries very much like the web
-catalog as conversation
-users add info/images/pieces to pages in LT

isbnThing - connecting isbn's, relating books and editions and formats

"it shouldn't work, like wikipedia shouldn't work but it does" - people keep it going
-chick lit tag used as an ex. - not in LCSH (later corrected by someone in the audience that it was added to LCSH in 2006 - he points back that LCSH doesn't back add so a lot of the books, the critical books that made that term, are not even associated with it)
-people use cooking as a tag, LCSH uses cookery
-cyberpunk - related to... subjects - tag neuromancer - largest tag cyberpunk has, this is what it means to people

book: Tales of the city
-compares the LC online catalog to the LT tags
-tags get at the identity and what it means - LCSH can't do this

Problems of tagging:
-too many for one book - ex. Diary of Anne Frank - some tags: historyish, in Belgium
-bad tags wash out statistically - not used by that many people
-complexity/hierarchy better in LCSH that's harder to get in tags
ex. Leather - mismatch of tag meanings
-problems w who's makikng tags up

New/Coming to LT:
-combining tags together
ex. France, wwii, non-fiction
ex. Magic, -fiction (minus fiction)
ex. Chick lit, Greece

LT starting to offer in library catalogs - read more at librarything.com/forlibraries
-works in any opac
-brings up things only in that libs. Catalog

LT doesn't handle non-book formats very well but they're working on this.

June 23, 2007

Virtual Reference Discussion Group

Round Table discussion
Fixing it Up - If YOU could fix or customize your VR system, what would you change?

-I don't have notes from this sesison because I was a table facilitator and handed in all the notes contributed by the group.

Main points:
-we want to see an integration of IM and vendor-based chat software that allows our users to contact us using any format that they want and have it come to us in one place
-fix co-browse!!!
-statistics, great - we want more controll/customization - integrated in IM
-greater customization of patron subject area filtered to appropriate areas (I'm losing the point on this one)
-Florida State found a way to extract stats from their meebo acct - i asked them to put it up on webjunction.org - i'll keep checking
-how are we going to get vendors to listen to our feedback? - we may just end up developing open source software to do what we want instead of waiting around for vendors to respond

-sorry folks, it's the end of the day and that's about all i'm able to remember

-tomorrow, another full day!

QuestionPoint - Best Practices in Cooperative Virtual Reference

ok, now i'm back at the convention center after my day of sessions because it's the only place i can get reliable internet connection. i'm sitting at an empty desk on the 2nd floor blogging away and so far in the span of 45 mins. i've had 4 people come up and ask me directional and event questions. i must look like a reference librarian!

OCLC sponsored event
3 different groups talking

Lynn Silipigni Connaway - OCLC & Marie Radford - Rutgers
Shared Expectations: Getting Comfortable and Providing Quality Service in Cooperative VR
url: www.oclc.org/research/projects/synchronicity

Their joint project: Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating VR Services from User, Non-User & Librarian Perspectives
-proj. duration 10/1/05 - 9/30/07
4 phases:
-focus group interview
-analysis of 850 qp transcripts
-600 online surveys
-300 telephone surveys (i was one of them, btw)

Recommecations for Cooperative Reference Services
Dazzle them (from a distance)
-advertise cooperation - of the various libraries involved in your service
-promote global/local presence
-seize opportunities to build rapport - personalize the session to an extent (when possible)
Overcome bounbaries & heighten awareness of remote access issues
-don't tease or bait 'n switch - offer only the resources they have access to
-guide users beyond consortial limits - suggest in person visit to library or make other referral to resources they may have available
-don't force instruction
Develop & share expectations
Exceed expectations - aim for excellent service & cultivate repeat users

Recommendations for individual vrs librarians/staff
Start off on the right foot
-minimize number of scripts you send before greeting user personally
Accentuate the positive - always put the cooperative service in the best light
-maintain a professional tone
-be yourself
Do not dismiss questions out of hand
-questions that seem rude or inappropriate may be genuine
Clarify the question
-even if you think you understand, your interpretation may be incorrect - i know this has happened to me!
Increase accuracy - answer the specific question
-check to make sure pages you are pushing has the specific info they are requesting
Provide a variety of resources, citations & referrals
-give user the option to go beyond initial resources
Manage complex or multiple queries
-refer complex questions to the cooperative specialist service or to another mode
-use traditional approaches to multiple queries, answer easy ones first, make sure you have answered all parts
They disappeared? Complete the inquiry anyway
-they will get the transcript and be grateful for that extra step

Heather Muller - Washington State Library, statewide vr coordinator (taking over for Buff Hirko, she retired)
Eliminating Barriers to Service
-Washington State School for the Blind - www.wssb.org
-Washington Talking Book & Braille Lib. - www.wtbbl.org
-Info Eyes - www.infoeyes.org
-more info - Wikipedia: List of screen readers

-working w folks using assisted technology & how vr services work for them
-used QP Chat2 (interface developed to work with assisted technologies)
-behaves differently w different software versions
-sometimes links worked, sometimes not
-self-selecting users - software knowledge - type of search - internet comfort level
-users at all levels w various disabilities & software applications

Negatives from users - really only one:
-notification sound was too soft
Positives from users:
-interface is very simple
-better w screen readers than other commercial IM
-coding makes it easy to navigate
-response time "seems" faster (not really tested or proved)

Implementations (suggestions):
-note for users that this version (QP Chat2 - couldn't find a url giving more info about this product, sorry) has been tested w various accessibility products
-publicize to the community to attract users
-staff awareness

Bill Pardue - Arlington Heights Public Library (IL) - AskAway statewide coop vr service
Promotion of Service
-placement of link - placement, placement, placement!!!
-press releases, handouts, ads... - tend to create brief "spikes" in usage
-proper placement assures that people will find the servicce

-looked at referrer page info from QP
-3 months - 458 sessions
-139 sessions from home page & catalog
-319 came from everywhere else
-70% of sessions originated from other places

placement tips:
get your link:
-as part of the basic website template
-"above the fold"
-use graphic & brief text
-AskAway branding essential, but makes sure patron understands what it is, i.e. "Ask a Question Live Online" or "Get Live Online Help"

Current practices:
-looked at 20 libs.
-home page link: 19 out of 20 (what's w that one??)
-part of site template: 8
-link via catalog: 0 (i say a must!)
-placement (homepage): 8 - low; 11 - upper; 1 dead center

Think about your vendors
-your catalog
-your subscription databases - branded links
-we've had relatively few sessions from these but why not catch what you can?

Market it as local info
Community partners?
-town/village site
-chamber of commerce
-social service agencies
be ready to answer questions from these sites
-social sites/blogs
-anywhere else?
-most of these won't contribute to large numbers
-you're doing this to increase referrals incrementally

Resource: Sara Houghton's presentation: Reaching Patrons: Online Outreach for Public Libraries - www.librarianinblack.typepad.com/onlineoutreach/index.html

Libraries2Go: Library Services for Handhelds

I was a little late getting to this session (as I will be for the next). I've found internet connection outside of the convention center to be very spotty. The convention center has slick wi-fi but everywhere else is not so good. All my sessions today are at hotels and I haven't found one to work yet! Ack!

Anyway, Mobile Sites for Libraries:
came in half way for Bradley Faust's presentation from Ball State U.
-sites to check out:
mobile site: www.bsu.edu/libraries/mobile
project info site: www.bsu.edu/library/mobile- (project info link available on this page)
Mobile sites - what works best:
-short pages
-easy to read fonts
-easy to navigate
-minimal images
-anywhere access
-offering BSU webmail client (through MicroSoft)

Card Cat Mobile - phase 1:
-custom gateway to card cat system designed for mobile devices
phase 2:
-going with z39.50
-developed using MicroSoft visual studio development
-adding mobile journals - make them searchable
-want to add mobile video - provide access to low bandwidth versions of library promotional videos
-found their mobile site works best with Pocket PC devices w wi-fi connection (2006)
-videos streamed in Windows Media format only - not compat. w Macs
-Google Co-op site search - added to mobile site - replaced mobile site map on the mobile site homepage (found it works better)

Future work:
-build out card cat mobile product
-build out mobile journals product
-build out library services - such as text messaging
-add blogs, rss, wikis, & other 2.0 solutions for mobile devices

North Carolina State U. w Markus Wust
-service: www.lib.ncsu.edu/m
-more info: www.lib.ncsu.edu.edu/dli/projects/mobilib

Why Mobile?
-growth of mobile phone industry
-spread of mobile phones - 2.7 billion mobile phones world wide
-educational institutions experiementing - ball state u & u. texas
-commercial content providers - yahoo/google/msn... - facebook, flickr, myspace
-Eric Schmidt, google ceo - "biggest growth area is in mobile"

No. Carolina State U doesn't have any data right now but going off of feedback in their libraries
-started w small set of services
-looked at what would be useful in mobile environment

- variety of browsers/platforms
-small screens & input devices
-need for precise language (stay small)
-different usage scenarios

tech issues:
-access keys for easiest navigation
-phone numbers for keys

7 services focused on:
1.) catalog search
-basic search interface for the NCSU libraries online catalog
-default is keyword search, but users can also search by title, author, or isbn
-users can limit search to available items
2.) computers - availability of public access library computers
-shows pc's, macs or "web only" computers currently open for use in the library
3.) library hours
-today's and tomorrow's opening hours for all library locations and major service departments w/in library
4.) campus directory
-mobile version of the main ncsu campus directory
-searches whole campus or limits to students or faculty/staff
5.) contact us
-contact information for branch libraries and selected services at library
6.) links
-links to external mobile content providers
7.) wolfline status
-links to text-only version of transloc inc.'s transit visualization system map
-shows current location of buses in the university's transit system

found images and visual elements just didn't work - all text based
-very concise information provided and layed out well

Next steps:
-usability testing/focus groups
-implementation of feedback on current new services
-My MobiLIB - place holds, renew items
-exploring use of text messaging for lib. applications
-faceted browsing for catalog

Michelle Jacobs, U Cal - Merced
The Library in Your Pocket
-text messaging/SMS - short message service
-mobile applications
-mobile pages for your site

What to use
-smart phones & pocket pc's
-lib has cell phones only - no desk phones

How it was advertised:
-link on website
-mentioned in instruction classes
-word of mouth
Total transactions for spr. 07
-70 on a campus of 1300 fts - 2 faculty used the service!

simple steps:
-add text messaging to your plan (cell phone plan)
-list hours staffed
-add "My Text" for commonly asked questions - scripts

Favorites w students:
-facebook mobile
-social networking is going mobile - LIBRARIES SHOULD GO MOBILE

watch this:
-youtube vid:

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | Panel Discussion

Ok, final post for the day/workshop. btw, you can see more posts about this workshop at librarianlikeme.wordpress.com.
Panel Discussion:

KC: bring value to what your doing - is it of value to your users

DK: don't think, "I don't have enough time to blog", think " Where does my library want to be in 2 years? Does it involve having an active online community?" Then figure out how your going to get there.

MS: look at what you're doing and what little things can you change

KC: they're organization is currently going through a "Flush Campaign" - see what needs to go and have admin say that will go away.

DK: on commenting on blogs - if no one is commenting then it's just a talking head. Ask your audience a question and invite them to comment. Respond quickly. Other ways of inviting participation - market - i.e. toddler time: post info about it at the day care center - leave the bldg to market/advertise your library/events

KC: make it meaningful or it's not worth the reader's time

DF: I'm not a techy, I'm a reference/instruction librarian. If I can do the things I need to do w blogs and podcasts so can everyone in this room!

June 22, 2007

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | Karen Coombs

Library Web Chic, Karen Coombs gave the final presentation of today's all-day workshop (whew!).

Coombs talked about Social Software for Reference Services (mainly blogs).
Why use blogs:
-easy to edit
-can allow many staff and users to contribute
-space for feedback from users
-can create content for all parts of library info

Ways to use blogs:
-Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) has great blog webstie - good job of integrating blog into homepage - posts are tagged
-news & info - keep users up to date w what's going on
-internal communications - communicate news/announcements to staff - record latest questions being asked - highlight new resources
-University of Houston Libraries has staff/internal blog - any staff member who works the ref desk can add info - helps to distribute info
-reader's advisory - timeliness - ability of multiple comments
-Lansing Library (IL)'s Reader's Reviews links to books in the catalog - can see if the librarian is online - link back to the library website - ability to search for other materials
-another idea - link books to open worldcat - servicing your users & beyond - anyone coming on your site will be able to find the books you're talking about in a library near them
-subject oriented blogs - include contact info & (personal) desk hours - highlight digital collection - incorporate media
-promote library events - let people know what is going on - allow users to subscribe to specific content (pick and choose) - create categories for different events

Do's & Dont's (not very new, but...)
-do have an rss or atom feed
-do update your blog regularly
-do allow your readers to comment
-do use tags and/or categories to organize your posts
-don't hide your rss feed (use the orange button - it's recognizable)
-don't post frivilous content - have rich, purposeful content
-don't forget to moderate comments
-don't separate your lirbary blog from the library website - this one (I think) is "iffy" because if libraries are struggling to get the support for a blog in the first place, I say go ahead and create one on one of those free sites like blogger, typepad, or wordpress.com (personal fav.) just to get it started (as a prototype) so you can show your folks in charge "Hey! Look what I can do!" (personal editorial)
-if your library wants to go gung-ho and establish institution-wide blogs for all staff (and beyond) it's best to go with a "install it yourself" software such as moveable type or wordpress.org.

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | David King

David King gave the second half of the afternoon presentation with David Free (hey, they're blogging about the conference too!).

King's presentation talked about vlogging/videoblogging/vlog/video podcast/vodcast/videocast....
Vlog (I'll use this term) is, plane and simple, a video on a blog. The point is to have content - purposeful, rich content.
Examples of vlogs:
-Jay Dedman
-mnstories.com -ok, King didn't have this in his presentation, but it's my favorite and I'm slipping it in.

Where to look for vlogs?
-search engines - bloglines, google, blinkx
-vlog directories - vlogdir, mefeedia, and iTunes - one site he didn't mention which is one I use regularly is Technorati (personal fav.)
-search some video sites - YouTube is outrageously popular and it's only 2 years old - also, it's not a vlog. It's a social networking website that houses other people's videos. and blip.tv
-new site - clipblast.com - it spider's the web for videos.

Creating a vlog:
-to create - script, make, edit
-need a computer - firewire, external hard drive
-need a video camera - mini-DV camcorders, cheapie web cam and mic, mobile phone
-need video editing software - some free stuff: Apple's iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Avid Free DV, Quicktime Pro - Pricey & Powerful: Adobe's Video Suite, Final Cut Pro
-need a blog - best to have enclosures for rss 2.0 feed like feedburner

-can be an issue - store yourself but make sure you have the bandwidth to handle
-plenty of free sites to store - Ourmedia.org, blip.tv, Internet Archive, Google Video, YouTube

What can libraries do??
King's library, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library's vlog: PaperCuts bringing library news, reviews and events in vlog format.
-try to come up with interesting ideas that will capture people's attention
Traditional ideas:
-book talk
-bibliographic instruction (any academic libraries out there? try this?)
-pr for the library
-showing off exhibits
-interviews (with anyone, celebs, pominent local citizens, politicians...)
-film your events
More interesting ideas:
-cultural memory project - video history rather than oral history
-local news - happy news from around your branch
-collaborative - PLCMC's ImaginOn - kids making videos
-environmental - discuss environmental issues and nature
-behind the scenes - what goes on at the library?
and on and on and on...

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | David Free & David King

Tag-team presentation with David Free and David King talking about podcasting and vlogging (video blogging) for libraries and reference services.

Free's talk: Wide World of Podcasting: Implications for Libraries (presentation available on his site - he's also blogging about the conference and this workshop as we speak!)
what are libraries doing? Lots! check out:
-ask a ninja: what is podcasting - ok not a library but funny
-student moniter marketing survey - what's in? beer 59%, ipod 79%
-ohio u. alden library audio tour - staff or student led tours by floor or download entire tour
-pierce county (wa) library system - book reviews
-orange county (fl) library system - podcasts of storytime for kids
-fairfield university library - 1-2 minute pods - perfect length
-cal state university - fulton - library guide for nursing - rich learning environment of the library

Instructional podcasting mashup:
1.) brief assignment overview podcast
2.) audio/video tours of specific library areas
3.) online tutorials/podcasts for assignment specific resources & services
4.) subject guides/cheat sheets

Have a plan: see also www.davidleeking.com
Why? is this something we can use in our library & help our users - enhance our services - help fulfill mission of library
-why/how is the tech you use in the library going to help you reach your users/help your users

Podcasting Tips:
-create good content
-consider your voice
-be passionate & entertaining
-online/script, but don't read!
-find a quiet place
-remember your listeners
-multiple voices rock!

-creative commons podcasting legal guide/see also www.rulesfortherevolution.com

How often?
-have content on a regular basis - people will expect to have content from you.

-try to get as many people involved about your podcasts as possible - take advantage of resources you already have available

7 steps to podcast heaven:

ok, battery dying, i'll have to post the rest tonight...

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | David Ward

Second half of the morning: David Ward from UIUC gave a talk on R U There? Implementing, training, and marketing for IM services in new user spaces.

btw, just before the talk the librarian sitting next to me saw me blogging and asked if I could look up the T-Mobile locations in DC for her because she forgot her cell phone charger. She said I could chalk that up as a mobile reference question!

Main points of Ward's talk:
Defining IM - multiple uses/technologies - understanding the difference between IM and chat
Implementation - start up
-figure out what you're going to do with IM/chat services before you get started
-use internally, get staff use to the technology
-practice IM style - use all flavors
-define necessary features
-know why chat fails
-get your own money
Generating Buy-in
-involve admin/staff
-tie in to strategic goals
-security issues - great post in Librarian in Black about this, helps librarians confront stallworth IT dept
-IM talking points - available in WalkingPaper.org
-UIUC usage stats:
vendor chats:
apr 04 - 464; apr 05 - 236; apr06 - 178; apr07 - 269
apr04 - 0 (not implemented yet); apr05 - 409; apr06 - 586; apr07 - 773
see the trend? GO WHERE THE USE IS!

hey Vendors! - we want a widget on every page like the meebo widget. (ok, that's my own editorial, but an overall observation of what he was trying to get at)

Marketing - 2 kinds:
1.) Marketing for IM
-getting your service noticed - needs assessment/meeting user needs - branding
-business cards, posters, website....
-instruction sessions, programming
2.) Marketing with IM
-what does it say about your library staff
-new library brand
-away messages - can advertise other services & guides
-profile names - don't be staunchy (hi! IM staunchy)
-establish collaborative personality

New Stuff to use w/for IM:
-one-to-one/one-to-many/many-to-many i.e. meebo rooms
-peer-to-peer like wikis/answer websites - can libs. be a conduit for research discussion outside the library?
-video, VoIP i.e. skype - try to get the speed of voice and technology to integrate - like sending a activated link with your voice
-virtual worlds/gaming - collaborative, social, simulations, communication tools - another conduit possibility for libraries
Ward's ideal IM for collaborative services like statewide dig ref services: have one entry point with many different librarians and types of librarians on and have a bounce back message to the patron saying a librarian will be with them shortly then have that put into a queue for a librarian to pick up.

I think that last piece but most of his talk are things that I've already heard/said/done/use. Not too revolutionary but good points all the same. His presentation and Michael Stephens presentation will be/is available at TameTheWeb.com/downloads.

Afternoon session coming up!

Reinventing Refernece | ALA Conference | Michael Stephens

Michael Stephens gave the first presentation of the Reinvented Reference Preconference all-day workshop. He just finished and we're in a break before David Ward from UIUC will be next talking about IM Reference Services.

Stephens' talk was on the future of user services and web 2.0. He was a great speaker and I find it hard to see how the other speakers will compare to this first one. He was so energetic that I couldn't get a good photo of him, he kept moving around too much. He had a lot of interesting things to say and a lot of which I have covered in this blog over the past year. So you can see, I liked his talk and agreed with a lot of what he had to say.

Libraries need to let go of control
-in regards to Do's & Don'ts signs in the library - don't ban technology because it's technology - let users keep their cell phones on, let users game and access email, give them space to explore
Go where the users are
-must read - Cluetrain manifesto (haven't read it yet but will put it on my booklist)
-the Hyperlinked Organization/Hyperlinked Library - have conversations, be open and honest, be transparent, PEOPLE WANT TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS (believe it or not)
-Involve and engage your users - user centered planning, involve frontline staff in planning because they hear what the users are saying
-content - offer the mechanism (for the user) to create content - on library website and other places, be the engager, teacher, learner
-be involved with training web 2.0 - talked about Learning 2.0 (I've blogged about this before)
-why do this? reach a segment of your users that might not encounter the library any other way
Emerging Tech Group
-start a group to focus on emerging technology - meet once a month/6 x's a yr, blog about your meetings/findings/discoveries
-be a trendspotter of tech and web
-apply blogging to internal communications
Adopt a 2.0 philosophy
-in your mindset of how you approach your library board and the higher up's.
-learn from gamers
-discover, play & experience new tools
5 Things You Can Do Now:
1.) Be a trendspotter
2.) Form an emerging tech committee
3.) Try a Learning 2.0 program
4.) Create a "What's New" blog (ah-hem! like this one??)
5.) Explore the idea of presence

-don't do everything, pick and choose the things that work the best for you.

whew! ok David Ward is up, I'll blog about that next...

June 21, 2007

Three videos available for checkout

The videos from the Openthegovernment.org teleconference, “Closed Doors; Open Democracies? A Sunshine Week National Dialogue on Open Government and Secrecy”  and "The Relevance of Libraries in a Digital Age"  and "Library Education: Facing New Realities" from College of DuPage are now available for checkout!  

 The videos may be checked out from MINITEX by completing the below electronic form, or contacting Betsy Swanson at bestys@umn.edu or 1-800-462-5348. 

 Past teleconferences checkout form: http://www.minitex.umn.edu/train-conf/teleconference/checkout.asp

 Don’t miss out on this great professional development and enrichment opportunity!  

June 20, 2007

You and Me and Google Makes Three: Welcoming Google into the Reference Interview

I you haven't read the article "You and Me and Google Makes Three: Welcoming Google into the Reference Interview" by Jill Cirasella, now is the time: http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/cirasella.htm


Wikis in plain English

Check out this YouTube video on creating wikis!

June 19, 2007

UIC and the Future of Virtual Reality

I forgot to post this earlier but there is a great article in the Chicago Tribune: UIC working on making virtual chats a reality (FYI: this is a ProQuest link). Snipit:

"Graphics technology is already good enough to create realistic-looking human avatars in 3-D, said Jason Leigh, director of UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory. Speech recognition is better than 90 percent accurate, and imaging-processing speeds by computers are close to real time.

UIC also has developed technology that provides viewers with 3-D images that do not require wearing special glasses.

One important factor in the project is to impart appropriate body language to the avatar as it responds to comments and questions, said Steve Jones, a UIC professor of communication.

"In real life, it's just assumed that you can read a person's responses without saying anything," said Jones. A subtle hesitation before speaking can have meaning, but such nuances have been mostly lacking in software programs created so far."

This isn't specific to digital reference but it's not far to see the connection and usage in that arena.

Research Libraries in the Age of Google

On Friday, June 15th, Anne Kenney, Interim University Librarian at Cornell University gave a one-hour talk on how academic libraries need to move forward in order to remain relevant in the years ahead.  Kenney began by discussing what the libraries are not.  Libraries are not, “the center of the information solar system,”librarians and users alike use free resources available outside the brick and motor building.  Libraries are not” the starting point for information inquiry.”  Google and other search engines have “transformed how we look at discovery.”  Libraries are also not the only “trusted kid on the block.”  Kenney directed the audience towards the 2005 OCLC report showed quantity and quality are what is valued when searching for information; “search engines ranked higher than librarians in this area” (http://www.oclc.org/reports/2005perceptions.htm).  She also pointed out that today’s world is all about self-service and libraries are not easy to use.  She referred to the YouTube video by Penn State Libraries, which illustrates the hoops libraries make patrons jump through to find periodicals (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKvR0OC4nYc).  



Kenney then transitioned to how libraries can ensure that libraries stay relevant over the next few years. To stay relevant we need to focus on five things: users, collections, services, place and organization.  
To read more look for an extended article in June 2007 Reference Notes!

June 18, 2007

DigRef Blog goes to ALA

Btw, I will be attending the ALA Annual conference in Washington, D.C. at the end of this week and will be taking the DigRef blog with me and commenting on the various reference sessions I will be attending. To start off, I will be attending the "Reinvented Reference 3: Emerging Technologies for Reference Services" preconference all day workshop. Stay tuned for posts about that as well as other great sessions!

Social Networking as a Marketing Tool for Libraries

There's a great article from madison.com: Libraries woo patrons on the web. Yes, I think most librarians understand the concept of using social networking sites as a marketing tool to reach your patrons and community outside of the walls of your library and the walls of your library's website. But this article talks about the successes UW Madison is having with a librarian specifically devoted to marketing. Amanda Werhane, liaison librarian and marketing coordinator and Bonnie Shucha, head of reference for the UW Law Library explain that the online tools they use to communicate with their patrons are free and allow the libraries to be proactive - the patron doesn't have to come to them, they're already there, "It's like being in the neighborhood." Having someone devoted specifically to maintaining their social networking sites such as MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, and blogs allows the libraries to have continuously updated information on all aspects of library events, schedules, resources, and other information. Patrons may not comment on the sites but have commented or asked questions about the information posted on the site.

June 13, 2007

AL Focus

Check out AL Focus - the video home of ALA's American Libraries!

First, enjoy their video, WHEEL OF CONFUSION

Hill Reference Library Closes Railroad Magnate's Archive

This from American Libraries Direct:

"After more than 30 years of owning the personal papers of railroad magnate James J. Hill (1838-1916), the James J. Hill Reference Library is looking for a new home for them. The private business reference library in Saint Paul, Minnesota, closed the archive June 1 after announcing that it no longer matched the library's mission of providing practical information to the global business community...."

Read more....

Podcast Evaluation Tool

We all know how to evaluate books and websites, right?  What about podcasts? In the May/June 2007 issue of Online there is an article by Adam Bennington titled, Stick it in your Ear: Keeping Current with Podcasts.  It has 10 points to consider when evaluating whether or not to suggest a Podcast to your customers. You may read this article through Academic Search Premier, one of the ELM databases, at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=24981995&site=ehost-live

June 11, 2007

BookSwim the new library competition?

I heard about this new company called BookSwim, http://www.bookswim.com/ which advertises itself as an online book rental library.  Similar to blockbuster.com or Netflix, you build a cue of books you want to read and they send them to you!  They offer no late fees, free shipping both ways and a selection of over 150,000 titles.  What are the possible implications of companies like this on libraries?  Do we need to rethink how and where we serve our customers?  Thoughts? 

Copyright in the Digital Age teleconference available via streaming

MINITEX is pleased to announce that availability of the ALA and NILRC teleconference, “Copyright in the Digital Age." This is an update to the previous 2004 teleconference, “Making Copyright Work for Your Library,” which is available for checkout through MINITEX.  
The following streaming video link is available for the”Copyright in the Digital Age” teleconference.It will be active for approximately 30 days after the broadcast.
The video in VHS form may be checked out from MINITEX, and will be available in a few weeks.  . 
We look forward to your participation in the 2007-2008 teleconference season!  
I am taking the names of institutions who are interested in being a downlink site for the 2007-2008 teleconference season in the MINITEX region.  If interested, please contact me directly.  

June 7, 2007


As I mentioned in a previous post. I was going to talk about LibraryThing. LibraryThing is a (another) social site designed to let people share information about the books they love! You can add books to your list that your reading, read, want to read, look for suggestions and upcoming publications. You can make any and every part of your list public and view by anyone or just a select list of people. You can create book groups to meet and talk about books and view other talks to find out more information about specific books and authors.

Also, you can write your own reviews and make the accessible only on LibraryThing, allow LibraryThing to give your review to non-commercial entities (mosty libraries) or to both non-commercial and commercial entities (such as booksellers, publishers, authors, street gangs).

Who doesn't keep their own book list? I do and it has gotten a bit unwieldy as of late. So now I've just loaded it up on LibraryThing and manage it from there. Another neat factor: you can choose from 78 different sources to search from, most of which being libraries. I just searched the University of Chicago's catalog on LibraryThing for Charles Bukowski and found a new book published in Germany about him I had never heard of before, "The Germans love me for some reason - " : Charles Bukowski und Deutschland by Horst Schmidt. What a find!

June 6, 2007

Perpich Center for Arts Education

Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN (see page 3 of Reference Notes). To listen to the podcast, click on the below link. 

Download file

Questions to comment on:
1. How can we strengthen the relationship between the media specialist and the classroom teacher?
2. What success stories can you tell of sharing your role of the media specialist and/or encouraging collaboration among teachers?
3. Please share additional thoughts and reactions to the podcast.

(Questions from a great podcast by the School Media Podcast at SCSU.)




Do you tag "stuff"? Do you have tags in many different places such as Del.icio.us, Flickr, Gmail, Squirl, LibraryThing and Connotea? Who doesn't! Which reminds me, I haven't written about LibraryThing yet. I'll have to do a little write up on that next.

Anyway, TagsAhoy! "lets you search all your tags, across different sites, from one location". Sweet! They plan to add more sites to the list soon as well.

Everything is Miscellaneous Author to Speak with Librarians Today

David Weinberger will be speaking with librarians online today at 1 pm (cdt). Don't miss this opportunity to find out what this author has to say about the future of libraries and express your own opinions!

U of M Libraries Join Google Digitization Project

The University of Minnestoa Libraries along with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which includes the "Big 10" institutions plus the University of Chicago, have mad an agreement with Google to digitize up to 10 million volumes from the CIC collections, with particular focus on "collections of distinction." Continuously updated information will be available through CIC's website.

University Libraries will be joining other universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Michigan, California, and Texas. Similar to those agreements, the CIC plan will address volumes in the general collections, but the "collections of distinction" is a new twist. These are focused areas of historic strength in each CIC library which will be digitized in their entirety. Further, the CIC agreement represents significant collective action in coordinating large-scale digitization. University Libraries hope to include up to one million volumes from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities holdings (archives and special collections are not included).

The project has the enthusiastic support of the provost and president. They recognize the incredible opportunity this presents and the public benefit that will come from access to the collections CIC has developed over many institutional lifetimes.

U of M Libraries Join Google Digitization Project

The University of Minnestoa Libraries along with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which includes the “Big 10” institutions plus the University of Chicago, have mad an agreement with Google to digitize up to 10 million volumes from the CIC collections, with particular focus on “collections of distinction.” Continuously updated information will be available through CIC's website.

University Libraries will be joining other universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Michigan, California, and Texas. Similar to those agreements, the CIC plan will address volumes in the general collections, but the “collections of distinction” is a new twist. These are focused areas of historic strength in each CIC library which will be digitized in their entirety. Further, the CIC agreement represents significant collective action in coordinating large-scale digitization. University Libraries hope to include up to one million volumes from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities holdings (archives and special collections are not included).

The project has the enthusiastic support of the provost and president. They recognize the incredible opportunity this presents and the public benefit that will come from access to the collections CIC has developed over many institutional lifetimes.

June 5, 2007

The Next Step in Social Bookmarking

Social Poster is the latest evolution in social bookmarking. It's very easy to use also. Go to the Social Poster website and add the Social Poster button to your bookmarks toolbar by clicking and dragging, there's nothing to download. Then visit any site you wish to bookmark. Highlight some text and click on the Social Poster button. You'll come to a new page with your highlighted text, URL, and title of the page you were just at in the top right. All information there can be edited before posting. Social Poster will even create tags based on the content of the page.

Also, on the page are 34 social sites including, Digg, Del.icio.us, Stumbleupon, and Technorati. You can submit the site to all or any of these sites by clicking the Post button. However, you do need to have an account with each of these social sites to post. For those that are sending lots of links of sites to friends and social sites this will definitely save you a lot of time and some wear and tear on your clicking finger!

June 4, 2007

Visual Literacy Meets Information Literacy

The ACRL Arts Section and Instruction Section invite you to visit the Virtual Poster Sessions being offered in connection with their joint program at ALA 2007 in Washington, D.C. The conference program, titled "Eye to I: Visual Literacy Meets Information Literacy," will explore the relationship between these two sets of abilities. The poster sessions and more information about the conference program can be found at:  http://eye2i.wordpress.com


The poster sessions offer practical approaches to teaching information literacy and visual literacy, new ideas for integrating multiple literacy skills into your instruction, and tips for collaborations that connect information literacy, visual literacy, and student learning.

Announcement from: dig_ref listserv

June 1, 2007

May 2007 Reference Notes

The extended May issue of MINITEX Reference Notes is up on the web and ready for viewing!  This month’s issue includes information on Flickr: A Web 2.0 Tool Applied to the Library, OCLC's WorldCat.org and WorldCat Local Pilot Project, Perpich Center for Arts Education: Not Just an Arts High School, I Wonder What This Is Worth: Unlocking Hidden Treasures, Teleconference: Relevance of Libraries in a Digital Age, Enhancing Quality Staff, Are You Ready for a Virtual Reference Adventure?, MINITEX Podcast of the Month  and more!  
To link to the current or past issues go to http://www.minitex.lib.umn.edu/publications/refnotes/.
Don’t miss out on this timely information!

CORRECTION: In the article Perpich Center for Arts Education: Not Just an Arts High School, Karen Neinstadt, the new librarian, is listed as Karen Weinstadt.  My apologies for this error.