Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Day in Monterey

Today started off with a keynote from Joe Janes on Reference 2.0: Ain't What it Used to Be...And It Never Will Again. I have to say up front that Joe was very entertaining and informative. I am not sure I have ever laughed this much in a conference keynote. One of his main points was that we just cannot continue to do business the same way - year after year. Generations need to listen to one another and realize experience and fresh new ideas are all needed to move our libraries forward.

I went to a Cybertour on New Software for Quick Online Tutorials. I haven't had time to look at all of the sites that were shared - but there is definitely a use for screencasting in training design. He recommends Jing, Demofuse, and Screencast-o-Matic. The Jing Project is still in beta and has limited features. It is free but there are hosting fees. Demofuse has no software to download but it also has no audio - which in the demonstration really made a difference. Screencast-o-Matic also has free software but uses Java instead of Flash.

Meredith Farkas presented Five Weeks to a Social Library which is a project she helped design. This project was a web training over an extended time with a variety of attendees from all types of libraries. This was a great session demonstrating many options of Open Source Software and how to implement local education programs for librarians. She used Drupal, Mediawiki and blip.tv This project was structured so that each week a different type of social networking was shared and participants had to complete a hands-on project. The information was very peer driven.

Helene Blowers of Learning 2.0 fame, presented Lego Building: Learning Through Play. She shared 5 tips to be an information player: 1. Take 15 minutes a day to explore something new; 2. Subscribe to 5 blogs and read them; 3. Tag play items in del.icio.us so you can go back to them when you have time; 4. Create a learning blog to share ideas; and 5. Play!! Take time to learn.

Helene also really recommends using Animoto.com to jazz up presentations with music videos using your images. It seemed really easy to use - check it out!

I talked with WebFeat and Envisionware in the exhibits area. I must admit I am not a big fan of many federated searching tools - but WebFeat seems to have created an excellent product. I used their service several years ago and found it helpful, but a little lacking. The presentation I saw today shows they have really fine-tuned their search tools.

Since I heard from a couple presenters today that fun and play are important - I wanted to be obedient and visited the Monterey Aquarium. My favorite exhibit was the sea otters - there was one that the trainer stated just did her own thing when she felt like it - they couldn't get her to follow their rules...she might be me as an otter! I finished up the long day at the Farmer's Market with local dealers - what a great day. One more day and then back to Texas. Hmmmm, I hope I can continue my dedication to fun and play!

School/Public Library Cooperation

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission seeks the input of school and public libraries in Texas in an important survey concerning cooperation between school and public libraries. If you are not the appropriate recipient for this survey at your institution, please take a moment and forward this message to that person on our behalf. Thank you for your time and assistance.
Purpose of survey:
This survey is intended to gather information related to the current state of cooperation between Texas school and public libraries. The results of this survey will be published, and they will be used to help develop a free online SBEC-accredited course on school and public library cooperation. The Texas State Library will announce the availability of the survey results and the online course.
Dates of survey:
Tuesday, October 30 - Friday, November 9, 2007
Estimated time required to complete survey:
5 -10 minutes depending on length of responses to open-ended questions
Who should complete the survey:
School and public library staff in Texas
To take the survey:
Please visit: http://txstatelibrary.cooperation.sgizmo.com/
For questions relating to the administration of this survey, please contact:
Naomi DiTullio
Distance Learning Consultant, Library Development Division
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
800.252.9386 (in Texas)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day Two of Internet Librarian Conference

Today was the first full day of the Internet Librarian conference. I really like that the sessions are for the most part, only 45 minutes long. I am able to pay attention that long so I attended four sessions today. The opening keynote was presented by Lee Rainie and included discussion of 2.0 and the Internet. I must say that 2.0 everything is the buzz at this conference.

I attended Cranky? Boomers and Older Adults are Greying the Internet. Check out the cRANKy search engine - the first age relevant search engine. I really like it, at least the little bit I have been able to peruse it. If you work with seniors, develop courses and pathways just for them. Other suggested sites were: www.eldr.com and boomertown.

The Ageless Project is an interesting site that categorizes blogs and web pages by the age of the creator. Take note that there are two people listed born in the 1910's that have blogs online. Who says that our older patrons are not ready for computers!

I also attended Multimedia Search by Ran Hock. I had heard of most of the search techniques and sources for video, audio and images. However, two that he mentioned that were new to me: Exalead and Blinkx. Exalead offers multimedia refining tools that are very easy to use. Check it out as another search alternative. Blinkx has over 18 million hours of video that can be searched and downloaded.

The Cool Tools for Library Webmasters was interesting but at times over my head since I am not a webmaster. One site to check out was the site map builder from Google. And finally I attended the Integrating Libraries and Communities Online that detailed the bookspace site at Hennepin County Library. Hennepin has done an excellent job with this tool. If you haven't seen this site - check it out. It is patterned after Amazon as far as book reviews, book lists and book comments are submitted by users of the library. This really incorporates your users with your web page - this collaboration is vital in building relationships with users.

On an important side note - I also saw three Humpback whales, several sea otters and countless sea lions. If we could just move the conference outside.........

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Internet Librarian Conference

Well, sometimes it is tough being a librarian. I am in Monterey attending the Internet Librarian Conference. The main conference begins tomorrow but I attended two pre-conference sessions - Training Adults - Getting and Keeping Attention and Libraries on the MUVE in Second Life.

The most important thing to comment on is Monterey - this is my first time here and it is amazing. I pet a sea lion and made him very irritated - he barked at me and then today, I saw two sea otters playing. It is difficult to concentrate when the weather and surroundings are so beautiful.

I guess I should give details of the conference thus far. The Libraries on the MUVE (Multi User Virtual Environments) was very interesting. I have a great interest to provide training in Second Life (or another MUVE)and wasn't exactly sure how to best pursue this. After seeing Second Life Live in the session and thinking this over, I think the best way to use any MUVE is for training simulations. For instance, instead of the traditional interactive training with lecture and discussion, set up a training library and have staff demonstrate good customer service skills, team building, conflict resolution - any type of soft skill that is difficult to train in the classroom setting.

My greatest concern is that it seems to take dedication of time to learn the skills to use a MUVE efficiently - on the part of the trainer and the trainee. All four presenters have work time and staff dedicated to nothing but Second Life tasks and training. I did take time to go online after the preconference, and set up my avatar - Roxie Blinker. I don't have it completely ready to go yet, but it wasn't difficult to get started. The hard part is apparently learning to navigate sidewalks and buildings without hurting yourself!

The other session I attended was the Training Adults. This was much more basic than I expected and was really geared towards new trainers in general - not just those working with adult learners. One tool I did learn was instead of asking participants at the beginning of a workshop what they hope to learn, ask them how will they know the session was valuable to them when they leave. This different way of thinking allows the participant to define what they really are seeking from the session.

Finally, it needs to be known that Rosine's has an excellent peanut butter pie - Adam W sent me to the right place!

Check back for more details after the conference gets officially started.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Statewide Material Contracts - FAQ

Hi. I received a FAQ from the Texas State Library on their Statewide Contracts for materials. Please find it below.

Q. Where do we find the actual contract?
715-N1 - PRINT MATERIALS AND MULTIMEDIA (ELECTRONIC AND RECORDED) - MULTI LANGUAGE - http://www2.cpa.state.tx.us/cat_page/cat_715_n1_0709.html
Q. Who should I contact with questions?
Christy Havel, State of Texas CO-OP Coordinator
512-463-3336 christy.havel@cpa.state.tx.us
Chris Jowaisas, Administrator, Library Systems and TANG
512.936.2236 or toll-free in Texas - 800.252.9386

Q. Who do libraries contact to register for a training session?
Contact coop@cpa.state.tx.us to register for the FREE weekly conference call training session "CO-OP 101: How to Take Advantage of Your Membership". Additional information and materials are available here - http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/coop/coop-training/.

Q. Where do we find all those forms?
CO-OP Forms Library - http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/coop/coopform/

Q. What about that "blanket PO" that was discussed at the meeting?
Non-Automated PO form and Instructions (MS Word) - http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/coop/COOPNonautoReq1007.doc *Libraries can always use their own PO - just submit a copy of that to the CPA with the required information.

Q. Where do I look to see if a library is already a member of the CO-OP program?
Alphabetical List of State of Texas CO-OP Members - http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/coop/coopmemb/ - look under your city or county most likely.

New Book Suggestion

Securing Library Technology: A How-To-Do-It Manual
By Paul W. Earp and Adam Wright
978-1-55570-639-5 . 2008 . 8.5 x 11 . 215 pp.

I haven't seen this yet but since my boss co-wrote it - it must be really good ; )

A must-have preparedness handbook for every library and information center, this nontechnical guide offers you comprehensive strategy for protecting your library’s technology assets against the growing array of threats — from viruses and worms to hackers, system failures, and natural disasters. Here is a step-bystep, easy-to-implement guide for securing servers, systems, and networks against both internal and external threats. Beginning with the fundamentals, the authors will guide you through the steps necessary to build a comprehensive security plan. You will learn how to take a detailed inventory of your library’s many technology platforms and identify the threats specific to each. Next is a detailed how-to for performing a thorough needs assessment leading to clear and detailed written policies, and finally, an appropriate recovery action plan. The authors explain the relevant technologies, security measures, and available software and hardware tools in simple terms, allowing you to see the big picture and create an effective security plan without getting bogged down in the technical details that are the province of the IT department. A carefully chosen collection of model plans and a glossary of technical terms round out this invaluable guide.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

• Positive Uses of Social Networking in Libraries

• Positive Uses of Social Networking in Libraries
Young adult librarians respond to the challenge of YALSA's "30 days of positive uses of social networking project. Every day throughout October three YALSA bloggers posted ideas and information about using social networking in the school and public library."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Library Use Value Calculator

What is your library worth to you?
How much would you pay out-of-pocket for your library services?
This Library Use Value Calculator is a great tool to "sell" your library's value to the public.

Accessibility Rules Can Be Enforced for Websites

A recent court ruling confirms that ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) rules can be enforced for websites as well as for physical buildings, according to an article at eWeek.com.

A group of visually-impaired consumers has brought a class action lawsuit against Target.com because its e-commerce web site is not sufficiently accessible to visually-impaired shoppers. Target's lawyers have been contending, in part, that the ADA rules designed for brick-and-mortar stores do not apply to websites. A court ruled on October 2 that the litigation can go to trial, confirming that the accessibility rules can be enforced for websites.

The tools that visually-impaired users rely on for reading web pages rely on standard HTML practices, such as text equivalents for images. Animations and other special effects can make web pages inaccessible to these tools.

The eWeek article can be found at http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2191625,00.asp?kc=PBWBPEMNL101607EOAD

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

State Tang Survey is here...

Hi folks if you are using any part of the Tang program would you please take the time to fill out the states survey? Here is the info listed below:

It's here - http://txstatelibrary.tangoutcomes2007.sgizmo.com/

The survey to capture the data for TANG outcomes for FY2007 has arrived and will be live through November 9th, 2007.

Please forward to your libraries for their participation.

We have tried to keep the survey very short, although we did add three questions this year. Even with those additional questions, we expect that most libraries will be able to complete the survey in under 30 minutes.

The survey officially launches tomorrow, but it is open now. The changes to the survey from the preview sent out earlier were minor tweaks to the wording of a couple questions, one additional open-ended question to capture specific projects or improvements, and the addition of a more extensive explanation of the what/why/where/how of the survey. We also used a new design template that is hopefully easier to read than the original design template we used in the preview.

If you or your libraries have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Once the results come in, I will make sure that you have access to the results. I look forward to reading about all the great things that the libraries have done with the assistance of the TANG program and the dedicated TANG staff.

Thanks - Chris

Monday, October 15, 2007

WebJunction Partners with Assn. for Rural & Small Libraries

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries is now partnering with WebJunction and is moving resources to its new home here at webjunction.org/ARSL. This means you can now find articles from the Rural Libraries Journal, back issues of the Rural Library Services Newsletter, ARSL Organization and Conference Information on WebJunction. ARSL members can now join the vibrant discussions surrounding rural issues and can provide suggestions and comments on the future of their organization. For more information see http://www.oclc.org/news/releases/200674.htm

Reaching Spanish Speaking Populations in Your Community

I just returned from a training seminar in Seattle on Reaching Your Spanish Speaking Populations. This information was very useful and I will be presenting the trainings in the NTRLS area this winter and spring - be watching the NTRLS CE page for dates and locations.

Until then, I want to share some practical ideas.

Market your library VERBALLY! Is there a Spanish radio or tv station that serves your community?

Keep it simple - you do not have to tell everything your library provides. Often new immigrants do not understand what is available at a public library - it is a new concept to them. Tie your information resouces with their information needs, ie. Do you need a driver's license? Come to the library and borrow tapes on learning English.

Purchase a variety of materials in Spanish and English. Would you visit a library if they only had 50 English language books? Often we have a very small number of Spanish language or bilingual books - and then wonder why no one comes in to use them. Spanish speakers and readers want what English speaking and reading users want - just in Spanish.

Go to the community - do not wait for them to come to you. It takes time to build trust so don't get frustrated. Contact the churches and schools to find community leaders in the Spanish speaking community and start introducing yourself and your library.

See you this winter and spring for more training!

Friday, October 12, 2007

For those of you wanting to know about filtering software

I have found out that Content Watch purchased Net Nanny, and they offer packages simular to the volume licensing offered from other vendors with a console type interface for filtering multiple workstations. They do P.O.'s and offer academic pricing. Heres the info below:


Questions? Call Us At 866-765-7233

Representatives are available to answer your questions from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM MST
( 3 Seat Minimum )

Blocks Pornography and Protects Your Business ContentProtect can block not only pornography, but hate sites, questionable chat rooms and other dangers of the Internet. You can even configure ContentProtect to block online game and gambling sites.

Integration With Popular Search Engines

The new ContentProtect integrates seamlessly with "Safe Search" options found in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Dogpile, AltaVista, Lycos, AllTheWeb, and MSN. This means your employees can't search on a search engine and see links to unsafe sites. This new feature enables better protection against pornographic images when doing an "image only" search. If an employee attempts to turn off the safe search capability from the search engine, ContentProtect will turn it back on in real-time as the search is occurring. The only way to bypass the safe search is with your unique administrator password, which only you as the manager or employer knows. Believe it or not, ContentProtect actually blocks content in multiple languages to provide even more enhanced protection for your business.

More than Just Web Protection

ContentProtect provides full protection on not just the World Wide Web, but also less known but equally dangerous parts of the Internet like the Usenet, Peer-to-Peer downloading networks, Chat Rooms, Instant Messages, FTP, Forums and email. Don't worry. ContentProtect knows about them, and protects your employees from the offensive content on them as well.
Enhanced Reporting

Already recognized as best in class, ContentProtect reports provide employers and managers with a first class presentation of Internet activity of their employees. You will know what sites your employees have visited, and what sites they have attempted to visit. You will also be able to see full text of their actual Instant Messages. ContentProtect empowers management to monitor and or block employees' access to certain areas of the Internet.
Remote Management

ContentProtect has enhanced its administration tools. Powerful Remote Management tools exist to help employers manage and maintain Internet policies remotely if an Internet connection exists. Monitor web browsing and instant messaging from anywhere!

Internet Slow...Here's How Way Public Library Fixed Their Problems

Jody Stroh, Systems Administrator, Way Public Library, OH is using a product at their library to help manage their bandwidth:

Do you ever run into issues when public Internet access PCs eat up all your bandwidth? Most libraries do. Take a look below at how Way Public Library used Cymphonix to overcome their bandwidth challenges:
“Our library staff was experiencing problems with our ILS (Integrated Library System.) It requires a constant connection to the database, and since we’re in a consortium, that database lives in another city. There were times, especially in the afternoon, when all of the public internet computers were busy, and the staff would get disconnected from the circulation system. Patrons had to stand and wait while staff members logged off and back on so that we could check out their items.
Enter Cymphonix. Our new Network Composer has made it possible for us to shape our bandwidth and prioritize our most important applications, giving our ILS what it needs to keep our staff up and running. Thanks, Cymphonix, for the user friendly interface and the great reporting features. The device was easy to install, and the graphic user interface makes it easy to administer. And Cymphonix has made it possible for us to delay the purchase of more bandwidth.”

to find out more about this product, here is the contact info:

James Cook

Monday, October 08, 2007

TMLDA Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Awards

The Texas Municipal Library Directors Association (TMLDA), an affiliate of Texas Municipal League, sponsors The Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award annually. All TMLDA members and the Libraries each represents may apply each year. Entries must be completed and submitted between December 1st and December 31st and should cover the most recently completed fiscal year (typically ending September 30th). Award recipients will be formally recognized at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in Dallas, during the TMLDA business meeting, and at next year's TML Annual Conference, during the TMLDA business meeting/awards ceremony.
For additional information and for answers to frequently asked questions about the award, visit the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association website at http://www.tmlda.org/.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Use of Wikipedia by Librarians

Wikipedia. Love it or hate it? We want to know how librarians are using Wikipedia. Please help us find out.
The Use of Wikipedia by Librarians survey is a research study investigating how librarians are using Wikipedia in their daily work. Please take 10-15 minutes to participate in the Use of Wikipedia by Librarians survey at this url: http://survey.oit.duke.edu/ViewsFlash/servlet/viewsflash?cmd=page&pollid=wikipedia!wikipedia
Thank you,Jean Ferguson, Reference Librarian 919.660.5928Aisha Harvey, Collection Development/Reference Librarian 919.660.7892Duke University Libraries http://library.duke.edu/

Public Library and Internet Survey from ALA, Gates, and FSU - Update on completion

In response to a question about where libraries could check to see whether they had completed the Public Libraries & Internet Survey, Christopher Jowaisas at TSLAC has provided this reply.

"With so many surveys flying around, it is hard to keep track of which survey a library has completed," he says, "but there is a handy site for this for the PL & Internet survey where you can see the sample for Texas and who has completed the survey: http://survey.pnmi.com/states/index.survey?state=TX.

"Right now, we have had ten libraries of the 185 in the sample complete the survey. It will run through November 15th, although I have also seen November 25th as a deadline. We will continue to send reminders until the deadline and please try to make your libraries aware of the survey also. "

Teen Ideas for Your Library

Library forum gives teens chance to be heard
Contra Costa Times

HAVING SOMETHING TO SAY and having a place to say it are two different things, especially for teenagers. But now there will be an open forum for teens in Castro Valley to be seen and heard at Open Mike Night every first Monday of the month at the Castro Valley Library.

Open Mike is not to be confused with a poetry slam (unless you feel like slamming some poetry around) and is a reality thanks to the efforts of Castro Valley High School senior Ryden Ishida, who thinks teens should have a place to speak their mind about any topic without restrictions.

He was inspired after attending a leadership program in Washington, D.C.

Although Ryden tried to get the open mike series off the ground last year it wasn't until this year that he and library assistant Nathan Silva hammered out the details.

"Nathan was very excited about he idea, and it all just came together," says Ryden, who adds that his mother, Barbara Telford-Ishida, is a librarian in Newark, where an open mike program has been in place for a while.

The first open mike was Monday evening and Ryden performed emcee duties as well as speaking. He chose a topic from a recent English class, "Who Are You?" As future open mikes take place he is hoping to see a full house of speakers and topics.

Not only are high school teens invited to express themselves creatively, but they are invited to share their own artistic creations, comedy, and musical compositions, poetic and other written works with their

Teens are also serving on library advisory boards more and more.

One Teen Among Adults on the Library Board by Alyssa Ratledge in the October 2007 VOYA details her two terms on the board. What a great idea.