Friday, June 30, 2006

Altered Books - Get Creative with Your Discards

Altered books provide a way for creative staff and users to continue the life of a withdrawn book. There are many sites for guidance in creating altered books. This could be a program in the library. Find a local artist that will undertake the planning of the program. Some libraries' friends' groups are creating purses, furniture and art out of withdrawn books and then selling them for $20 and up. A quick look on ebay even found some altered books going for over $100!

A great place to start is:

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Superpatron - Friends of the Library, on the Net

Superpatron is a blog run by a patron. The author posts entries about events and articles relevant to the library community, but does it with a patron point of view. Here is an example of one of his blog entries:

7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do at the Library (via Pop Goes the Library)
7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do at the Library - MSN Encarta, from superpatron Martha Brockenbrough. Here's thing two:
Even if my local branch doesn't have the book or movie, it's no problem. I just have it sent where I want it--free of charge. This is the second amazing library secret: They're happy to move things from one library in the system to another if it makes it easier for you to get what you want.
Thanks to
Pop Goes the Library for the link.That blog has some great ideas about DVD discussion groups (using a special collection to make sure everyone in the group can see the movie without fear of late fees), tips for libraries who want to circulate comics (hint: clear tape reinforcement), and a pointer to Mother Reader's 48 Hour Book Challenge.

This superpatron is great. All libraries should have one and get the person online writing a blog. What a great way to bring awareness of the library to the community!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A New Survey on Public Attitudes Towards Libraries

Here is a blog post from the Librarian in Black:

From Public Agenda (a non-partisan opinion research organization): A Fresh Look at Public Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century. This survey finds that "Americans prize public library service and see libraries as potential solutions to many communities’ most pressing problems, from universal access to computers to the need for better options for keeping teens safe and productive." The finding most interesting to me, and one that flies in the face of most libraries' marketing and technology plans, is that higher-income families use the library more than lower-income families.

$116.6 million to Protect Australian Families Online

Story of Interest:
The Government will create a National Filter Scheme to provide every Australian family with a free Internet filter as part of a $116.6 million comprehensive package of measures to crack down on the scourge of Internet pornography, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, announced.

The National Filter Scheme is the centerpiece of the Australian Government's Protecting Families Online package. Protecting Families Online will also include measures to provide Australian libraries with free filters so computer corners at libraries across Australia will become child-friendly zones.

As part of the implementation of this package the National Library of Australia will be required to provide filtering on all of its public access Internet terminals, with the option of disabling the filter when the terminals are being used by adults.

Child-safe computers in Australian public libraries:

The protections offered by free home-based PC filters will be extended to cover those families who do not have access to the Internet in their homes and rely on public libraries to provide this service.The National Filter Scheme will provide free filters to all public libraries nationally. As part of the implementation of this package the National Library of Australia will be required to provide filtering on all of its public access Internet terminals, with the option of disabling the filter when the terminals are being used by adults.In conjunction with the responsible State, Territory and Local Governments, libraries will be encouraged to mirror the action required of the National Library of Australia and make as many of their computers as possible child-safe.

Follow the link above for the complete article.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Photographic Preservation Society

This interesting organization has made its goal to archive photographs for libraries and museums by digitizing them. Here is what they are all about(taken from a job ad)

Photographic Preservation Society was created as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit to aid libraries and museums which lack the funds and expertise necessary to preserve their historical photographic collections. Through corporate and individual sponsorships, PPS will digitize the images and document the collection's metadata, enabling the owner to properly store the originals. The owner will then be able to use the photographic duplicates as many times and in as many ways as necessary. PPS will incorporate these images and metadata into our online Virtual Museum, offering these historic treasures to a global audience.

I have always said that someone needed to come along to do this for public libraries. This organization is based in Fort Worth with one of its founding members being Dr. Samantha Hastings from the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Science. I applaud their efforts. Let's hope this group can succeed in this worthwhile endeavor.

Monday, June 19, 2006

NTRLS has a Flickr Account

Flickr is a photo sharing, online social networking site that is considered by many to be a leader in the new Web 2.0 world. NTRLS has recently signed up for a free account and will be using the tool to share event photos. Here is what you need to do.

1. Go to
2. Sign up for a free account.
3. You can then begin to upload folders to your flickr account. We decided to download their Desktop Flickr Upload Tool which allows for much easier uploading of the photos than the web based upload tool.
4. You can then go to Flickr's tool section(look at look at the top right hand of your home page).
5. Click on Display Flickr photos on your website on the right hand side.
6. Follow the wizard.

Here is the result of our efforts. It makes adding photos to your website a breeze. It took me about twenty minutes to do the steps above while before it would take a couple of hours to properly format and arrange the photos. Very easy to use. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Boing Boing and Duct Tape Marketing

I recently discovered Boing Boing and Duct Tape Marketing. These two blogs are two of the most popular on the web according to Technorati. Boing Boing is a self-proclaimed directory of wonderful things. Duct Tape Marketing is run by nine marketing gurus, each with a different marketing expertise. I think both of these are worth your time in reading on a weekly or even daily basis.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Create Comic Books for Your Library!

This article describes how some big time companies are allowing their users to create comic books.

Paramount is not alone. Already, online games publisher Sony Online Entertainment and the National Geographic Society have signed on to license their own versions of the software, and Planetwide said it is in talks with at least one rock 'n' roll band interested in giving its fans a new way to indulge their fantasies.

The standalone version of the software is $29.99. With the recent craze about comics and graphic novels in public libraries, I think this would be a very neat way for libraries to reach out to their younger readers.

Performers and Speakers in the DFW area

At a workshop last week, a website was shared that provides information for multicultural speakers and performers for the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. The D/FW International page has a Speakers Bureau that can be searched by topic and a Global Artist area that can be searched by cultural distinction. This website also has information that your new immigrant patrons might find very helpful.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rethinking the Concept of the Book

The author of this article from the The New York Times Magazine envisions what the world will be like with a universal library made for us by Google.

"Brewster Kahle, an archivist overseeing another scanning project, says that the universal library is now within reach. "This is our chance to one-up the Greeks!" he shouts. "It is really possible with the technology of today, not tomorrow. We can provide all the works of humankind to all the people of the world. It will be an achievement remembered for all time, like putting a man on the moon." And unlike the libraries of old, which were restricted to the elite, this library would be truly democratic, offering every book to every person.

But the technology that will bring us a planetary source of all written material will also, in the same gesture, transform the nature of what we now call the book and the libraries that hold them. The universal library and its "books" will be unlike any library or books we have known. Pushing us rapidly toward that Eden of everything, and away from the paradigm of the physical paper tome, is the hot technology of the search engine. "

Interesting read from someone outside of the library field....

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Small Business Startups Start at the Public Library

This article outlines how public libraries are reaching small businesses. Here are the libraries that are highlighted.

  • At the Johnson County (Kans.) Library, a series of small business seminars teaches the basics of starting and running a business, from obtaining start-up capital to managing finances. Denise Upah Mills absorbed valuable information on proper methods for networking by attending numerous seminars and was able to start her first company, "Invisiband," whose mission was to increase penetration of broadband Internet service to residents of rural cities. She sold the firm for a profit and started a second firm, "Six Degrees Solutions," which helps other business owners develop stronger business relationships and create strategic alliances through networking with other owners in their area.
  • The Brooklyn Public Library hosts a discussion series called "You Can Do It, Too," where local business owners share stories about starting their company using the library's small business resources. The library also conducts their annual "PowerUP!: Your Business Starts Here" competition, open to aspiring Brooklyn-based businesses that require start-up capital. The competition provided Farid Ali and George Constantinou with the knowledge and financial resources to open their successful restaurant, Bogota Café Bistro, in Brooklyn's trendy Park Slope neighborhood.
  • The San Diego Public Library proved helpful to Joy Lynn de la Rén, who successfully started a mail-order company, "Caring Products Inc.," by using the San Diego Central Library's outreach program, "Business Resources & Technology Link" to learn about business essentials such as patents, trademark, copyrights, successful Internet marketing and e-commerce.
  • The Library System of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania's "Biz Info to Grow: BIG," a series of seminars and access to print and online resources, helped Sam and Jo Farner start their concierge company, "Extra Time For You." The Farners visited the library for two years, attending workshops and poring through demographic and economic data to build their corporate client list. Sam and Jo continue to visit the library to look for new ways to further grow their thriving firm.

What does your library do to reach the business community? NTRLS has two consultants with business backgrounds who can help you develop outreach programs for the business communities. Give us a call.