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October 30, 2007

New Text Message Option

You may notice to the right of this message a new box called txt me!. Now, on top of a MeeboMe chat window for communicating, you can now txt me on your cell phone to my AIM IM account. Pretty neat, AND it was FREE!! (she said the magic word!). If you would like to explore this neat little feature for yourself, your library go here: http://buddyinfo.aim.com/. I think this would make a great addition to libraries' IM reference services. Check it out!

Librarian 2.0 Manifesto

This is a great video I found on YouTube. Enjoy!

Oregon Virtual Reference Summit Podcasts

While we're on the subject of podcasts... From Caleb Tucker-Raymond:

Two podcasts are online from presentations at the 2007 Oregon Virtual
Reference Summit, June 1 2007 in Bend, Oregon.

Marie Radford gave the plenary session, "I Was Kind of Confused b4".


In Mrs. Radford's words, "The talk focuses on the information-seeking
and communication behaviors of the youngest Millennials - the
Screenagers. I discuss their predilections and characteristics
(multi-tasking, impatience, practicality, convenience, etc.) as well as
their perceptions of librarians ('I don't trust librarians, I trust
Google') and fear of cyber-predators in chat rooms that extends to chat
librarians ('I don't like to chat with strangers.')" (see her blog post,

The second podcast, "What students need, what schools need", a panel of
teens, teen librarians and school librarians discussing how Oregon's
virtual reference service can appropriately respond to students'
requests for help.

Between 60 and 80% of our virtual reference users are K-12 students.
Often, there is tension between the student's desire to take the
shortest route possible to complete an assignment and the
school/teacher's desire that visiting the library be a learning
experience for the student.


Featuring JoAnn Grant and Victoria, High Desert Middle School, Jessica
Lorentz-Smith, Bend High School, Patty Sorensen, Oregon State Library,
and April Witteveen, Deschutes County Library System.

See more details, notes, slides, etc at www.oregonlibraries.net/summit.

OCLC Webinar: Promoting Virtual Reference Services: Beyond Bookmarks

Looking for ways to increase usage and capture the attention of your current and potential users? Register today for a free, live Web information session and find out.

The information session will be held Thursday, November 15, 2007, 11 am - noon. This webinar highlights two innovative promotions, one on MTV (by New Jersey's QandANJ), and the other on YouTube (by Florida's Ask a Librarian service). The speakers, Beth Cackowski, project coordinator of QandANJ, and Diana Sachs-Silveira (of Florida's Ask a Librarian service) will discuss these and other promotional activities, as well as answer your questions on what works, what doesn't work, and what they are doing to entice new users to library reference services.

Visit the OCLC website for details.

October 29, 2007

Finding the Trends That Matter: Get Your Environmental Scan On

The Minnesota Library Association Conference is over.  Chances are between the hustle and bustle of work or sessions at MLA you did not have a chance to attend the first teleconference of the year. 
If this is the case, take the opportunity to view the archived version! 
Soaring to Excellence 2008—Mapping the Library Landscape: Every library worker a trendspotter
Finding the Trends That Matter: Get Your Environmental Scan On
This video will be available via streaming for approximately 30 daysAfter this date MINITEX will have a copy of the program that may be borrowed.
Here is the link for video streaming Finding the Trends That Matter.

Description: The year starts with a look primarily at high-level trends in business and economy, and how these trends can impact on our local library—even if it seems they are quite remote from our routine practices.
  • Steven Bell, Director of the Paul J. Gutman Library, Philadelphia University
  • Catherine Wilt

October 26, 2007

Podcasting Presentation and Recording

Hi everyone, we're here at MLA and I'm posting my podcast from the session. Here you go: Download file, click here to listen.

October 25, 2007

Library 2.0 Presentation

I will be at MLA tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 26 giving a presentation on Library 2.0 and all the fun tools we can use to connect with our patrons and staff. I'll be talking about blog, vlogs, wikis, podcasts, and resources for libraries and librarians. Join me if you can! I'll even do a podcast of part of the presentation. I'll post it here tomorrow!

October 22, 2007

iLibrarian blog

If you haven't checked this blog out already, give it a look. It's kept by Ellyssa Kroski, Reference Librarian at Columbia University's Butler Library. A recent post of hers is definitely worth your time to read, entitled "A Librarian's Guide to Creating 2.0 Subject Guides." She discusses some new 2.0 technologies that librarians can use to create subject guides online. Read her post here!

October 17, 2007

High Speed MN Bill

This was circulated via a listserv at the U of M that I thought you all might find interesting:

What could be more important to librarians than increased access to
information? That's exactly what the High Speed MN bill proposes to do by
calling for 1GigB to each Minnesota home by 2015. More info at www.gigggroup.org

The Minnesota House of Representatives Telecomm Division of the Commerce
Committee is going to hold an important field hearing at Eagan City Hall on
Wednesday, October 17, from 4-6 p.m.

The topic is high speed broadband, and the committee particularly wants to
hear from businesses and any Minnesota residents who do not feel they have
sufficient Internet speeds or competitive choices. A High Speed MN bill
urges the state to have a formal broadband policy and speed goal. It is
open to the public. Any resident of Minnesota is invited to participate.

HIGH SPEED Minnesota Bill

One GigaBit. That's the speed called for in a policy that the State of
Minnesota should adopt. In order for Minnesota to maintain and enhance its
leadership position in high technology business growth, we'll need the
speed. The goal is by 2015. Studies show that economic development is
greatly enhanced by having a high speed infrastrucutre in place. This
public policy has gone forward on two fonts: First, Rep Sandy Masin (DFL-
Eagan) has introduced legislation to create a statewide broadband policy and
to set a goal (1GBit to each home by 2015). She will be holding field
hearings in Eagan on Oct 17. Second, proponents of the bill are working
with the Commerce Department, the agency charged by the Governor's Office to
support not only the broadband policy but to create some pilot projects.

There is way too much to say about this in a short post. Go to the web site
www.giggroup.org to learn more about the benefits of such a policy to all of
us. This is an important issue for libraries & information centers and each
of us as citizens. Come out and support the creation of the statewide policy.

October 16, 2007

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (BETA)


"This site allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)." (from the website)


October 12, 2007

Gale Common Menu Change

From Gale:

As you are well aware, Gale constantly strives to create new products and/or enhance existing ones so that they are the most informative, usable products available. To that, we are pleased to announce an upcoming change to your Gale Common Menu - the gateway to your Gale databases. At the end of October, the standard Gale common menu will be refreshed with icons to offer visual cues to users. In the past, this menu showed icons. We are now restoring these icons in response to many customer requests and we believe you will be pleased with the results.

What Do You Need To Do?

Nothing! The refreshed common menu will be visible to all customers who currently use it and the URL will remain the same, so you so not need to do anything to access the refreshed menu.

What Will the New Common Menu Look Like?

The Common Menu will look very much like it does today. Below are a couple screen captures that demonstrate what you, your patrons and your students will see when the enhancement occurs.

PDF Version: http://support.gale.com/article.asp?article=1807&p=10

HTML Version: http://support.gale.com/article.asp?article=1806&p=10

What If I Don't Want My Common Menu to Change?

We are currently working on a solution that will allow you to either disable these new icons or configure unique icons for custom databases through ITconfig. Our goal is to have this capability in place as the new icons are added. We will keep you informed as we move closer to completing that phase.

As always, if you have any questions about these changes, you can contact our support by calling 1-800-877-4253 (Option 4) or emailing us at gale.technicalsupport@cengage.com.

October 10, 2007

UC Berkeley Posts Lectures on YouTube

Full story: http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9790452-7.html
UC Berkeley lectures are now being posted and archived on YouTube. They have over 300 hours of video they are making available to the public on their YouTube site, http://youtube.com/ucberkeley with plans of adding more and expanding their content. This the first major offering of podcast lectures being made available to the public by any university. It will be interesting to see the usage and how it will be received as this grows.

Google: Leader of the Pack

In a USA Today article in the technology section yesterday there is an interesting article on Google (image that!). Google leads the way by a land slide of gobal searches with 27 billion searches for the month of August 2007. Yahoo was a distant second with 8.5 billion searches. Interestingly, there were 2 foreign-based search engines that made the top 5 list, one from China and one from South Korea. Also, interesting ComScore, the company that conducted the research, "estimates that about 750 million people worldwide used Internet search in August, each person averaging about 80 searches." The web is an ever-growing world. It's good that people identify with search engines as vehicles for information results. It's also good for libraries to continue their growing relationship with Google on projects such as Google Scholar and Google Book to increase their presence on the web and with the information-seeking population.

October 4, 2007

Podcast with Beth Kelly







 Beth's Podcast: Download file

 During September, I had the opportunity to interview Beth Kelly, former Duluth Public Library Director, on reflections on her career, aspirations and future retirement plans. Beth was kind enough to participate in a phone interview using Skype, so neither of us had to travel and fit me in between her upcoming trip to Ireland and numerous volunteer commitments. For Kelly, libraries are a place of cooperation, environmental consciousness, civility, and self-directed learning, among other things.


This interview is fairly long, 35 minutes, but I couldn't cut any more from our one-hour chat- Beth has a lot of wisdom to share.  New graduates will find her path to librarianship encouraging, and directors will find her her ah ha! moment while being Director reassuring. 


Maybe I am hungry at the moment, but two of my favorite blurbs from Beth are, "Thinking about working in a public library was like thinking about someone who is a chocoholic and working at Ghirardelli. . . love using everything in a public library."  When discussing the computer usage at Duluth she said, "maybe all these things [computer usage] are not the broccoli, they are the carbohydrates." Implying this is okay! 


We encourage every librarian to be the “voice” behind a MINITEX podcast and share your expertise and experiences with the greater community.  Podcasts are featured on the MINITEX Reference Services blog under the category “On the Road with MINITEX.”  If interested in participating in a podcast or you know someone who would be great to interview, please contact me. 

Discussion Questions

1.  What keeps you energized working at a library?

2.  What was your path to librarianship? 

3.  What do you love about libraries? 

October 2, 2007

iPods and Educational Software Together at Last!

Pioneer Press has an article out today about educational software maker Innovative Knowledge that is now making their material available for use with iPods. As a learning supplement the sessions are now made transferable from disc/computer to iPods for learning-on-the-go.

September Reference Notes

The September issue of MINITEX Reference Notes is up on the web and ready for viewing!  This month’s issue includes information on Another Successful Stint at the State Fair!, Flickr Photos!, Homeschooling with ELM, More M.O.R.E. Training, Finding Trends that Matter, Fall Webinar Schedule, MINITEX Podcast with Beth Kelly, of the Month and more!
To link to the current or past issues go to http://www.minitex.umn.edu/publications/refnotes/.
Don’t miss out on this timely information!

October 1, 2007

MINITEX Website Survey

We have extended the duration of our Web site survey -- if you haven't already, please take a moment to let us know what you think of the MINITEX Web site's new layout and added features: