Wednesday, May 31, 2006

60 Sites in 110 Minutes

Mike Baldwin, Director of the Benbrook Public Library, asked me to post a link to this website. He attended this program at TLA in Houston last month and was very impressed with the sites outlined in the presentation. Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian, and Michael Stephens, Tame the Web: Libraries and Technology, are long-time bloggers in the biblioblogosphere and I hear do a great job presenting at the various library conferences around the world. If you are not a library blog reader, but are looking to get into it, I recoomend these two.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

LibraryThing: Future of OPACs

If you have not heard of LibraryThing, I highly recommend you take a moment to check out the website. It is amazing tool that allows people to catalog their own personal book collections by downloading MARC records from the Library of Congress. Users can search the entire collection for books, which numbers of 2 million volumes. Once you find a book, its record includes tags, book recommendations, member reviews, a rating for the book and other users that own the book. It feels like a combination a library OPAC and but it is all controlled by the website users. Tim Spalding, the creator of LibraryThing, has recently hired a librarian and is looking to hire a librarian-developer. Once you begin to use the tool, you can quickly tell that a librarian had some input on it. It really is amazing tool. I only hope libraries can offer OPAC as rich in functionality as LibraryThing.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Internet Searching: Librarians Do It Better

Interesting read from Reuters. Although the article focuses on medical librarians, I believe it is relevant for librarians in all types of settings. I am currently preparing to teach an Internet class for TWU SLIS this summer. This class will be include non-LS majors and I hope to instill in them the importance of good solid internet research skills. This article reinforces my thoughts that librarians can serve the role of teaching others to become information literate in this information age. We do Internet Research daily so it comes second-nature to us, but for a majority of people, searching the Internet can be a very frustrating experience. They are often faced with too many results and not enough knowledge to know what information is credible. IMHO, information literacy should be a goal of all public libraries. Let's teach them to fish instead of giving them a fish.

Records Management 101

Have you ever wondered how long you have to keep each email you receive? How about those patron records? Often people are very unsure of the legal requirements for record retention. The State and Local Records Management Division of TSLAC is here to help! Each county in Texas is assigned a Records Management Analyst that can answer state, county and local questions. They are just a phone call or email away. To find your analyst, go to

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Big Read

The Institute of Library and Musuem Services and the National Endowment for the Arts are teaming up to have a One Read, One Nation event which they are calling the Big Read. Libraries can apply for grants for up to $20,000 to help defray participation costs.

Monday, May 15, 2006

DVD Storage and Retrieval

Recently I was visiting a local library that is using the Imation Disc Stakka to store and retrieve their DVD collection. This library is still in the testing phase, but is positive about the results so far. After searching several sites, I have found mixed reviews - but mostly positive. DVD storage and retrieval seems to be a time consuming and costly library task lately. Do you buy locking cases? Do you have them on the shelves where they are easily "borrowed" without a library check-out? Or do you use something like Imation? This is still an area in discussion. Please share any experience you have in DVD storage and retrieval.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Proposal to block social sites from libraries, schools

Here is an interesting post on the LJ Tech Blog about blocking social networking sites like MySpace from libraries. The proposal defines a social networking site as any site that allows a person to create a profile and contact others.

The term ‘commercial social networking website’ means a commercially operated Internet website that—
(i) allows users to create web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves and are available to other users; and (ii) offers a mechanism for communication with other users, such as a forum, chat room, email, or instant messenger.

You can read the whole text here.....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Should the Internet Remain Neutral?

Congress is moving to give Internet providers the ability to regulate who gets what bandwidth. Check out my post at Library Technology NOW.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 Free Library Website Enhancements

Glen Peterson of the Hennepin County Library System has put together a neat service for libraries called Small to Medium sized libraries, less than $1 million per year in total income, can use the services for free (large libraries have to pay a fee). You can add the following to your website: Library Events, Library Blogs, Library RSS feeds, Contact Your Library and Customized web enabled databases. Neat!