Tuesday, November 24, 2009
While we still have many patrons coming into our libraries looking for job assistance, remember two programs that Easter Seals provides: WIPA (Work Incentives Planning & Assistance) which is for adults receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (RSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and Employment Services which will match skills and interests of people with disabilities with their best opportunities for success in the workplace.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
By MOTOKO RICH and BRAD STONE
Published: November 17, 2009
With Amazon’s Kindle, readers can squeeze hundreds of books into a device that is smaller than most hardcovers. For some, that’s not small enough"
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Virtual Reference for Texas Libraries
by Liz Barksdale, Western Texas College Library
Ask Now Texas is a free virtual reference cooperative for libraries in the state. Based out of Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, since 2007, the project’s mission is to provide reference services to libraries that do not always have adequate staff, funds, or time to provide extended virtual reference on their own. Currently, ten libraries in various regions of Texas are served:
Abilene Christian University
Paris Junior College
Ingleside Public Library
South Texas College
North Central Texas College
Texas State Technical College West Texas
Northeast Texas Community College
Western Texas College
Although most participants are currently academic libraries, this service is open to interested public, school, or special libraries within the state.
Ask Now Texas is offered from 9am-11pm Monday through Thursday, 9am-5pm Fridays, and 1pm-11pm Sundays and will possibly be expanded further in the future to extend reference services for participating libraries. Reference volunteers assist users with informational questions, research, TexShare database guidance, online catalogs, and reader’s advisory. Volunteers can also refer online patrons with institution-specific questions back to the appropriate librarians or personnel at those users’ libraries.
The program also allows current and future Texas librarians to learn more about instant message-based virtual reference and about virtual reference best practices. The service is staffed by professional librarians and library school students from the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas. All volunteers are dedicated to providing high quality service to Texas users.
Ask Now Texas uses Meebo, a popular instant messaging service, because it does not require users to download any additional software in order to chat. Participating libraries have the option of using Meebo chat boxes personalized for their libraries. If you are interested in volunteering or to have your library participate in this cooperative in 2010, please contact Liz Barksdale at 325-574-7676 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Meebo, visit this site: http://www.meebo.com/meebome.
Hayward libraries to borrow Netflix model
HAYWARD — City libraries soon will offer a new borrowing system that borrows from Netflix, the mail-based, no-late-fee movie rental service.
For a monthly fee, library users will be able to check out a limited number of materials for an unlimited amount of time. The optional system will eliminate due dates and overdue fees, asking for money upfront in return for no worries later. Pricing would begin at $2.99 a month for up to three items out at a time.
"About 20 percent of our library users are blocked from further checkouts because of the fines they have accrued," said acting library director Sean Reinhart, whose idea was approved by the City Council last week.
"These days, a lot of people want to do things on their own time frame. They're busy. Returning materials can be kind of low on their priority list and they end up with fines, and stop coming."
While other libraries around the nation have adopted the other part of the Netflix model — sending materials through the mail — Reinhart said Hayward won't be doing that for now.
"That's a whole other level of logistical problems," he said. "Books are different sizes and weights, and a whole lot heavier than DVDs. Some libraries have tried the mail system and some of them have worked, but a lot have failed."
I am very interested and very curious," said Feldman, director of Cuyahoga County libraries, serving the suburbs of Cleveland. "Sean is looking at what makes sense for his customer base, and offering a new convenience that makes the library increasingly attractive. I will circle back to hear how it works."
Reinhart said if a book is checked out on the "Fines-Free" plan for an extended period, and enough other customers request it, the library will purchase a new copy.
But Cal State East Bay head librarian Linda Dobb expressed concern that the open-ended checkout potentially could take research materials away from the public indefinitely.
"What if somebody really needed a particular item, and Hayward Public is one of the few places that has it?" she said. "If somebody absolutely has to have something and it is unique, there have always been ways for a library to recall an item."
Reinhart said the library's reference section is for in-house use only, and they stock very few out-of-print items in the first place.
"We simply do not have the space in our buildings nor the demand from our community to justify storing older, little-used items for very long," he said.
Reinhart said he's looking forward to seeing the results once the program starts, which will be before Christmas.
He said that if only 2 percent of library users opt into the program, it will more than match $94,000 the library took in from late fees last year. And the other 98 percent of users who don't opt to go fines-free will still be putting in money the old-fashioned way.
"I think the results will be eye-opening for libraries around the nation," Reinhart said.
Eric Kurhi covers Hayward. Reach him at 510-293-2473. Read our blog at www.ibabuzz.com/hayword/.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Here are the average number of years spent in certain careers:
|21||Farmers||10||Truck drivers, heavy|
|18||Railroad conductors & yardmasters||9||Administrators & managers|
|15||Locomotive operating occupations||9||Binding machine operators|
|15||Telephone line installers & repairers||9||Concrete finishers|
|14||Airline pilots||9||Dental hygienists|
|14||Telephone installers & repairers||9||Furnace operators|
|13||Civil engineers||9||Hairdressers & cosmetologists|
|13||Crane operators||9||Industrial engineers |
|13||Grader & dozer operators||9||Librarians (note library clerks are 3 years)|
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Jeffrey Brown explores the shifting world of book publishing, and examines how technology and readers are changing the industry."