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December 30, 2008

Pew's Future of the Internet III

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has released a new report that should be of interest to all libraries: The Future of the Internet III.  In this third installment of Pew's survey of internet experts and analysts about where the web is going, many topics are covered.  A lot of the report has to do with changing devices and our changing interaction with them: voice recognition, mobile devices, touch screens, etc.  It makes for very interesting lunchtime reading.  You can read the report here (with links to sub-sections of the report), or Pew's press release here for the really brief version.

December 29, 2008

Congratulations Lisbeth Boutang!

"Lisbeth Boutang, children's librarian at Cloquet Public library, has been named the Grand Prize Winner of the "What I Wish Everyone Knew About Librarians" essay contest. Librarians from all over the U.S. were invited to write essays to tell the world what they want others to know about librarians." Read the full article here.

December 22, 2008

Web 2.0 Success Story

From Virtual Library Notes: Web 2.0 Success Story.

This is such a great story about using user-generated tagging to find a book for a patron based only on what the book was about. It shows the ingenuity of a resourceful librarian and how social networking tools can be encorporated into daily reference work.

December 19, 2008

Library Usage/Patronage soars - MPR Report

Another great article highlighting the importance and popularity of libraries during an economic downturn. Library usage increases with the recession, reported by MPR, talks with Pat Conaly, Washington County Library director, and Susan Nemitz, Ramsey County Library director. All aspects of library usage are up, "computers, access to the Internet, help with writing your resume, job search programs," said Conaly. It's not unusual to see 100 people show up for storytime as well.

Conaly and Nemitz along with the overall report did a great job highlighting many services and aspects of the library, more than just books, that so often can get overlooked in news coverage. It's great to see and hear all this exciting talk about libraries these days. It is great promotion from outside the library world and something we should definitely capitalize on in many ways. Voices can be powerful tools.

December 16, 2008

Sustainable Library 2.0 projects

Sarah Houghton-Jan, aka Librarian In Black, gave the keynote at Arizonia Library Association's Annual Conference. She's posted her presentation (pdf) on her site. She highlights the fabulous things that many libraries across the nation are doing right now to integrate 2.0 tools with their websites and services. Hennepin County Library's website is one of the library's profiled.

She tells us all the things libraries *should* be doing right now:

Instant Messaging
User Comments
Photo Sharing
Video Reference
Media Listening Stations
Text Messaging Updates & Reference

Some 2.0 Services We Want in All
of Our Libraries...Right Now
2.0 worthy Catalogs
Social Bookmarking
Social Networks
Better Library “Spaces”
RSS Feeds
Marketplace Shelving

Well, maybe not everything at once. But she does point out what to do: advocate to the higher up's, plan, why 2.0 services are important, and what makes a project successful. Very useful information.

December 15, 2008

Library Challenges & Opportunities 2009 teleconference, "Information Literacy for Life"

MINITEX is pleased to announce that availability of the Library Challenges & Opportunities 2009 teleconference, "Information Literacy for Life"

The following streaming video link is available for teleconference. It will be active for approximately 30 days after the broadcast.


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

New Discoverability Tools Minnesota Historical Aerial Photographs Online (MHAPO) and MapHappy

Kristi Jensen, Borchert Map Library - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

University Libraries' Borchert Map Library is preparing to release a new online tool, MHAPO ( http://map.lib.umn.edu/mhapo/ ), a Google Map interface providing access to thousands of scanned copies of print Minnesota air photos found in our collection. The air photos cover the Twin Cities metro area and are from the late the 1930s through the 1970s. They hope to go live with MHAPO before the beginning of the Spring semester.

Although still in development, MapHappy ( http://www-dev.lib.umn.edu/scieng/ ) is also available for review and feedback. MapHappy, a new way to search for maps at the library, is a Google Maps mashup that provides users with visual information about the location and coverage of print and electronic maps while searching University Libraries collection. A browse feature also allows users to find maps that cover a particular geographic area rather than searching with key terms. All 30,000 maps held in the Twin Cities libraries are discoverable in MapHappy.

These resources are still in beta and will be released sometime in January, 2009.