Thursday, April 30, 2009

Password Management Site

PC Magazine's Editor's Choice for a password management site is LastPass1.5. While I admit it makes me a bit nervous to have my passwords saved in one location - one secure location - I am always hearing about different security breaches. My mortgage company was hacked, where I buy my shoes was hacked, even my account with a federally funded agency was hacked - so forgive me if I tend to be a bit hesitant. However, this one is highly rated and I think I might give it a try - passwords are constantly changing and my mind just can't keep up!!

LastPass will also fill out forms for you - sometimes this is helpful - sometimes it is not - your opinion here.

And finally - it is free! You can't beat that!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Renting Books and Libraries

As I was driving by another closed Blockbuster store, I realized people do not often want to be bothered to pull out of traffic, park, go inside, and wait in line. Are people actually watching less movies - of course not. But we are watching more movies at home - between Netflix, the Red Boxes around town (which are an onsite vending machine - but more convenient than a Blockbuster), on-demand, fantastic home theaters and sound systems, etc... we want to watch movies on our terms.

With book rentals (Bookswim, Booksfree) becoming more common, will libraries go the way of Blockbuster? I doubt it - but it does give us a chance to rethink part of our service to our communities.

At a time when the economy is tough, our libraries usage stats are going through the roof - we always knew libraries were REQUIRED for a strong community - now it seems others are catching on. But let's start thinking about when our economy strengthens (and yes it will) - how can we keep usage up? Should we be offering more on-demand service for books and movies? Can we have memberships that include enhanced services - and we mail the books and movies? The ongoing debate about everything is free vs. some pay services will remain. What we need to focus on is how do we best serve our users?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Public Libraries Look to New Services in Japan

Public libraries look to new services
Taisuke Takeda and Hiroko Toda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers

A "concierge," of Chiyoda Public Library in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, provides people with useful information about its selection of books and even local restaurants.

Amid the global recession, various kinds of rental services have become popular among increasingly budget-conscious people, with many public libraries looking to attract new users with new services in addition to conventional ones.

Fuchu City Library in Fuchu, western Tokyo, has the most extensive collection of audiovisual material among public libraries in Tokyo. It has 44,000 CDs and 20,000 DVDs and videotapes, and 10 special viewing booths. Most of this material can be borrowed.

"An increasing number of people are using the library, where they can borrow items whenever they need to, as a study or reading resource," library director Toshihiko Sakurada said.
Due to the constraints of copyright and other issues, the library usually purchases audiovisual products six months to a year after their first appearance in CD rental shops.

For complete article

Friday, April 03, 2009

Texas Library Association Annual Conference - My View

Just getting back from Houston for the Texas Library Association conference. As always it was great to see librarians and library supporters from around the state. Paula Poundstone was really funny as the keynote presenter - who knew - Melody Kelly was pretty funny too!

I went to many, many meetings and a few sessions. One session in particular was very helpful. It was the CE SLAM - five trainers shared a quick lesson. I think this formula will work for a longer workshop in the NTLP area - have a CE SLAM on often asked about topics that don't require a full day of training.

One site shared that is worthy of time is VoiceThread. This tool allows you to narrate your presentation or video. Easy to use - check it out!