Friday, December 31, 2010

What is becoming extinct?

Driving into work today - and yes I think it is wrong to work on New Year'e Eve - I heard the radio announcer asking what we think may become extinct in 2011. He was mostly speaking about technology..........but this really started my thinking.

I would like to see the following become extinct.....hate, wars, scorpions, raisins, complaining, taxes, world hunger, disasters, and did I mention raisins??

But also I started thinking about what I use or have used regularly that we just don't really need anymore.........not sure they will be extinct, but?????

Whiteout
Rolodex
CD's
Garage Door Opener Remote
Watch
Stand Alone Clocks
Not to forget of course the ongoing demise of land lines, fax machines, VHS, newspapers, using email outside of work..............

What else??

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yea - Fort Worth libraries saved!

Two public libraries slated for significant cuts will remain open
Posted Dec. 16, 2010

After an extensive review, the City Council has concluded that the City will be able to keep the doors open at two libraries thanks to improving sales tax returns and budget savings across the City.

With this decision, the Fort Worth Library will maintain full management of the Northside and Ridglea branch libraries, and the libraries will remain open at their normal hours at a cost of roughly $620,000.

Mayor Mike Moncrief said he and the entire City Council shared the concerns from residents about reducing library hours or completely closing the two branches. He was pleased that the City Council and staff found a way to maintain library services.

“The local economy is improving, and this week we heard more good news with respect to our sales tax numbers,” Moncrief said. “The City Council believes that, with the recent boost to the reserve fund, it was appropriate to use some of this money to keep these libraries open through this fiscal year. Looking ahead, we’ve asked city staff to take a hard look at how we might fund these libraries in the future.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What’s Next for Delicious?

What’s Next for Delicious? (Please note this is taken from the Delicious Blog...

Many of you have read the news stories about Delicious that began appearing yesterday. We’re genuinely sorry to have these stories appear with so little context for our loyal users. While we can’t answer each of your questions individually, we wanted to address what we can at this stage and we promise to keep you posted as future plans get finalized.
Is Delicious being shut down? And should I be worried about my data?
- No, we are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive.
What is Yahoo! going to do with Delicious?
- We’re actively thinking about the future of Delicious and we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users. We’re in the process of exploring a variety of options and talking to companies right now. And we’ll share our plans with you as soon as we can.
What if I want to get my bookmarks out of Delicious right away?
- As noted above, there’s no reason to panic. We are maintaining Delicious and encourage you to keep using it. That said, we have export options if you so choose. Additionally, many services provide the ability to import Delicious links and tags.
We can only imagine how upsetting the news coverage over the past 24 hours has been to many of you. Speaking for our team, we were very disappointed by the way that this appeared in the press. We’ll let you know more as things develop.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Yahoo targets Buzz, AltaVista, Delicious for death - Dec. 17, 2010

Yahoo targets Buzz, AltaVista, Delicious for death - Dec. 17, 2010: "Yahoo targets Buzz, AltaVista, Delicious for death
By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporterDecember 17, 2010: 4:01 PM ET


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Days after cutting its global workforce by 4%, Yahoo turned the axe on its product portfolio. Yahoo said Friday that it is killing Buzz, a two-year-old experiment in community news curation.
Buzz never took off, and its termination isn't much of a surprise. But deeper and more painful cuts are coming: According to a leaked screenshot of an internal webcast by Yahoo Chief Product Officer Blake Irving, the list of products slated for 'sunset' also includes MyBlogLog, Yahoo Picks, AltaVista, Yahoo Bookmarks and Delicious."

IMLS Calls for 2011 Native American Library Services

IMLS Calls for 2011 Native American Library Services
Basic Grant Applications
Application Deadline: March 1, 2011

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is accepting applications for the 2011 Native American Library Services Basic Grant program. Federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages and corporations may apply for these grants in either the Basic or the Basic with Education/Assessment Option categories.

These noncompetitive grants are designed to support existing library operations and maintain core library services in tribal communities across the country. The supplemental Education/Assessment Option provides funds for continuing education opportunities for library staff and on-site library assessments. In 2010, IMLS awarded 31 Basic Grants and 190 Basic Grants with Education/Assessment Option to Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages and corporations.

Please note that IMLS is publishing the Basic Grant guidelines separately from the competitive Enhancement Grant guidelines, which are anticipated to be available in January 2011. The Enhancement Grant deadline will be May 2, 2011. An eligible entity must apply for a Basic Grant in order to be eligible for the Enhancement Grant competition.

IMLS has scheduled an audio-conference call to give prospective applicants an opportunity to ask IMLS staff questions pertaining to Native American Library Services Basic Grant applications. This call will take place on January 19, 2011, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm ET. Please visit the website for more information closer to the call-in date.

Contact Alison Freese, Senior Program Officer, at 202-653-4665 or afreese@imls.gov with questions about this grant program.


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Del.icio.us RIP

Del.icio.us, a beloved social bookmarking service, is being killed off as part of some "organizational streamlining" by Yahoo and we're already in tears. Here's some advice on how to preserve the memories—and bookmarks—we have with the service.

Simply head over to this link and you'll be offered the option to export all your bookmarks—you'll be provided with the option of including your tags and notes as well.

Formerly called del.icio.us, the site was founded in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo in 2005. It boasted more than 5.3 million users and 180 million unique bookmarked URLs by the end of 2008. Once one of the Web's top social sites, Delicious is still accessed by some 350,000 people per month, but it doesn't seem to fit in Yahoo's future plans.


Once you're done exporting those bookmarks and mourning, you can check out this list for some alternative bookmark management tools. [TechCrunch]

Stipend for TLA Conference

Thanks to the generosity of the Texas State Genealogical Society, the Archives, Genealogy, and Local History Round Table is able to offer a $500 stipend to the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in April, 2011 in Austin.

Please direct questions to me. Thanks!

Laurie Mahaffey, Genealogy Conference Stipend Committee Chair

Laurie Mahaffey, Deputy Director
Central Texas Library System, Inc.
1005 West 41st Street
Austin, Texas 78756
www.ctls.net
laurie.mahaffey"at"ctls.net
512-583-0704 x18
800-262-4431 x18

Friday, December 10, 2010

Follow NTLP on Twitter

North Texas Library Partners is now on Twitter as @NTxLibPartners .

Did you know you can follow Twitter via an RSS feed? Add the NTLP Twitter RSS feed to your newsreader so you can follow the blog and the Twitter stream in the same place, even if you don't care about having your own Twitter presence!

December opportunities for NTRLS members

Don't miss these opportunities for NTRLS member libraries!

Do you have a literacy program at your library, or do you want to start one? We are still seeking partners for next year's grant application to support the Libraries for Literacy program. Please submit your partnership application by December 15. Details of the program and the partnership application are at http://ntrls2.org/default.asp?action=article&ID=393.

The UNT Health Science Center will come to your library to offer a workshop for your patrons on locating authoritative health information on the Internet. Workshops will take place in March / April 2011. If you are interested, please let Adam Wright know by December 31 so that you can be worked into the schedule.

Adam Wright is available to speak to local clubs and organizations to promote your library in the community. Contact Lynn Gritta at the NTRLS System Office for information.

Registration is now open for the 2011 North Texas Conference for Library Supporters. Visit the CE Portal on NTRLS.org to register.

Don't forget to sign up for online continuing education courses through LE@D. For more information see http://www.ntrls2.org/default.asp?action=article&ID=333 .

This month the NTRLS website features library services to the homebound. Follow the NTRLS Homebound Project Blog for updates about our pilot projects.

To keep up with news from North Texas Library Partners, sign up for the NTLP-Announce email list or the NTLP-CE email list. Find information at the NTRLS.org website,

Follow North Texas Library Partners on Facebook or Twitter

Monday, December 06, 2010

Explaining Facebook's new profile pages - CNN.com

Explaining Facebook's new profile pages - CNN.com: "(CNN) -- An update to Facebook profiles that was rolled out Sunday puts an emphasis on personal details: letting users introduce, or re-introduce, themselves to fellow users more quickly.
The new profile page, which many of Facebook's 500 million or so users were shifting toward Monday morning, is topped with recent photos and lists relationship, hometown and work status, among other details, right up front."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Groupon and Other Coupon Deals

Groupon CrunchBase Profile: "Groupon (www.groupon.com) features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 150 cities around the world. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, Groupon can offer deals that aren’t available elsewhere.

Groupon brings buyers and sellers together in a fun and collaborative way that offers the consumer an unbeatable deal, and businesses a large number of new customers. To date, it has saved consumers more than $300 million and claims it has generated millions in revenue for the businesses it features."

Also look at several copycats that have popped up: LivingSocial, 8coupons and AOL's Wow.com.

I have personally being using Groupon for months and have found a couple great dinner deals - and one great deal on a haircut!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



iPad owners have had less than a week with iOS 4, but a software update offering news and magazine subscriptions targeted at them could arrive in less than a month.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber reports that Apple’s Steve Jobs will join News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch on stage at a December 9th event to announce Murdoch’s new forthcoming tablet newspaper, The Daily. According to Gruber’s sources, The Daily will be an app in the App Store, but make use of new recurring subscription billing on users’ iTunes accounts, and “developers at News Corp building the app already have preliminary documentation on the new subscription billing APIs from Apple.”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Podcast on Homebound Services

Check out this wonderful podcast with Allison Long, Haltom City Public Library's outreach librarian, about serving homebound individuals.  Allison shares the history of Haltom City's homebound delivery service and has really fantastic tips on reaching out to serve patrons who desperately need library services but cannot easily come into our facilities.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Farmers Branch booster Edmiston speaks up against privatizing Manske Library | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News

Farmers Branch booster Edmiston speaks up against privatizing Manske Library News for Dallas, Texas Dallas Morning News Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth Dallas Morning News: "Farmers Branch booster Edmiston speaks up against privatizing Manske Library
12:00 AM CST on Tuesday, November 16, 2010By DIANNE SOLÍS / The Dallas Morning News
dsolis@dallasnews.com FARMERS BRANCH – There was a time when the City Council could count on Patricia Edmiston as a booster. She liked proposals on illegal immigration and jumpstarting development with city financing."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal

Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal
Submitted: November 11, 2010 - 4:18pm
Originally published: November 11, 2010
Last updated: November 11, 2010 - 4:19pm

Source: New York Times
Author: Jenna Wortham
Outside of a book club, reading a book is a pretty solitary affair. Two entrepreneurs, Jason Johnson and Jason Illian, are trying to change that with a new mobile application called Social Books.

"Short-form content on the Web is very interactive, very dynamic," Mr. Johnson said. "You can see which of your friends read the same article and what they thought of it. It made us ask, 'Can this be applied to long-form content? Can we take the advent of social media and apply it to the way we read books on tablets?'" Social Books works like most e-reading software in that users download titles to their tablet or phone. The main difference here, however, is that users are able to leave public notes on a particular book, chapter or passage, and comment on the notes left by others. They can also share their digital bookshelves with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Links to Sources
Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TechSoup Grant Series: One Hour a Week to Success!

Wish you knew more about applying for grant funding? Does it seem overwhelming and you wonder how to get started? TechSoup is here to help! Our new grant series, Successful Grants in One Hour a Week, will provide you with small steps that take you through the entire grant process. Weekly blog posts will outline your steps for the week so you’ll be prepared to apply for a basic grant before the end of the year.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Internet Accuracy Project

Check this site out if you haven't already!

Internet Accuracy Project: "Internet Accuracy Project works to improve the accuracy of the reference sources we all rely on. In addition to offering error corrections and clarifications, our organization is also dedicated to the presentation of thoroughly-vetted educational materials and classic literary works, entirely free of charge and free of all commercial advertising and irritating pop-up ads.

The Internet has changed everything -- how we communicate, get our news, play, shop, and conduct research. It has forever changed the manner in which the public accesses, seeks and views reference work. Unfortunately, it has also brought about the widespread dissemination of erroneous information. The vast available resources and rapid speed of information delivery is precisely what attracts most researchers to the Web. It is that same incredible speed that allows factual errors to spread around the globe in the blink of an eye."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

LP3 Conference is Almost Here!!

"It's (Not Such) a Small World After All! - Register Now!


The 3nd Annual North Texas Conference for Library Program Planners and Presenters - come learn how to schedule and presenter great programs in your library - meet MANY performers - network with each other - and just get out of the library for the day!!!


Thursday, 11/18/2010 at the Lockheed Martin Recreation Area in southwest Fort Worth, Texas

For All Library Personnel Responsible for In-house Programs and /or Outreach Presentations



· Training · Presenter Showcases · Exhibits · Networking · CE / CPE Credits · Lunch & Refreshments ·


For complete information about the keynote speaker and sessions - go to the LP3 webpage.

Registration is now open!"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday Open Thread: Are Cord Cutters Hip Or Poor? : Video «

There is discussion about cable dying off - everything TV will be at the TeeVee station or online. Interesting article link below from GigaOM.

Thursday Open Thread: Are Cord Cutters Hip Or Poor? : Video «: "A lot has been written about Comcast losing 275,000 of its cable subscribers during the third quarter. Our own Ryan Lalwer thinks this is clear evidence of cord cutting as a result of rising cable bills. Others disagree, arguing that customers are simply switching to other forms of pay TV."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mobile Photo Bill Pay

Snap Pic of Any Invoice and the Bank Pays It

Mitek Systems will today introduce Mobile Photo Bill Pay, a system that allows snapping a photo of any bill and having it paid from customer’s accounts at participating financial organizations. The new smartphone method works similar to the firm’s photo deposit app that makes it easy to remotely make bank deposits from a photo of a physical check. The bill pay app will be available for the iPhone, followed shortly by versions for Android and the BlackBerry.

Taking a photo of a paper invoice is straightforward; the challenge is correctly interpreting the pertinent information in the bill to provide the correct information to the bank for payment. Invoices vary in layout and content, and Mitek’s system is able to interpret the picture taken of the bill and correctly determining the information needed by the bank’s e-pay system for payment. The app presents the interpreted information to the customer for verification and authorizes the bank to pay the bill by tapping the Pay button. The interpreted information is stored by the application to aid in the processing of future bills to the same payee.


Carolyn speaking: Not sure about this - I love the concept - but everything being virtual messes with my mind - I guess I need my senses used and actually touch my bills - that way when I pay them I can snack on my chocolate and tequila.............and get satisfaction!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mark Your Calendars - TLA District 7 Meeting

TLA District 7 Meeting is November 13th at Trinity Valley School off of Bryant Irvin in Fort Worth. We have an amazing speaker for the day - Nicole Engard. She is from Pennsylvania and writes the blog What I Learned Today. We are very excited and want to wish her a BIG Texas Welcome. You won't be disappointed!

For complete information: District 7 Meeting

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

PubIt! Publish Your Own EBooks



Check out the Barnes & Noble Self Publishing PubIt - for emerging authors. I love the independence of this!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Texting Censorship Court Case

Texting censorship flap settled out of court
by David Kravets, wired.com | Last updated October 1, 2010 3:26 PM
A legal flap concerning whether wireless carriers may censor text messages was settled out of court Friday, leaving unanswered the highly contentious question of whether wireless carriers have the same “must carry” obligations as traditional phone companies.

The month-old New York federal case pitted T-Mobile against a texting service, which claimed the Bellevue, Washington-based wireless carrier unlawfully blocked its clients after the service sent messages on behalf of a California medical-marijuana dispensary listing site.

The full terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Lawyers involved said the agreement requires T-Mobile to stop blocking the New York-based EZ Texting service’s thousands of clients. These lawyers declined to say whether T-Mobile had to allow texts from the medical-marijuana info service, which used texts to tell its users where the nearest medical-marijuana store was.

The dispute comes as the Federal Communications Commission has been dragging its feet over clarifying the rules for wireless carriers. The FCC was asked in 2007 to announce clear guidelines whether wireless carriers, unlike their wireline brethren, may ban legal content they do not support. The so-called “network neutrality” issue made huge headlines earlier this year when Google, along with Verizon, urged Congress not to bind wireless carriers to the same rules as wireline carriers.

EZ Texting offers a short code service, which works like this: A church could send its schedule to a mobile phone user who texted “CHURCH” to 313131. Mobile phone users only receive text messages from EZ Texting’s customers upon request. Each of its clients gets their own special word.

T-Mobile wrote in a filing last month that it had the “discretion to require pre-approval (PDF) for any short-code marketing campaigns run on its network, and to enforce its guidelines by terminating programs for which a content provider failed to obtain the necessary approval.”

Such approval is necessary, T-Mobile added, “to protect the carrier and its customers from potentially illegal, fraudulent, or offensive marketing campaigns conducted on its network.”

A similar text-messaging flap occurred in 2007, but ended without litigation, when Verizon reversed itself and allowed an abortion-rights group to send text messages to its supporters.

Days ago, Congress shelved a last-minute attempt to pass net neutrality legislation, prompting its supporters to call for the FCC to act on its own.

World Digital Library

This is just a reminder about the World Digital Library - there are some amazing documents and drawings........

World Digital LibraryMission
The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

Promote international and intercultural understanding;
Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Denton County Libraries Hit Hard

Area libraries take budget hits
11:59 PM CDT on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

Thursday is Georgette Taylor’s last day as program coordinator for the Lake Cities Library.

The library, which serves Corinth, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas and Shady Shores, is one of several in the area that made big cuts after seeing their budgets trimmed for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Director Rebecca Belknap said the Lake Cities Library’s budget took hits from all sides, including a 6 percent decrease in funding from Corinth. The library board had no choice but to make cuts, she said.

Funding from Denton County and Lone Star Libraries — grant funding through the Texas State Libraries — was cut this year. Belknap had originally planned to use a Lone Star Libraries grant to pay for digitizing copies of local newspapers in the library’s collection.

“We have some papers that no one else has,” Belknap said.

With the staff cut, she is rethinking that plan. Libraries statewide are working together to fund digitization, a project that the Lake Cities Library could join. If so, the library could use the Lone Star grant to restore some summer children’s programs.

Such early literacy programs are important because they help children make reading a part of their daily lives, according to Eva Poole, director of the Denton Public Library.

“They learn how to read and how to love reading,” she said.

Entire Article

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reminder about the NOLO matching program

Love Your Library? Help it out with Nolo's Matching Funds Program

Pass this information on to your stakeholders......

Our nation's libraries are in serious financial trouble. State, county, city and school budgets continue to be slashed and libraries have fewer and fewer dollars to work with. Nolo will help you support your favorite library by matching any contribution you make to it.

Here's how it works:

Fill out the nifty matching-funds form.
Send us the completed form and a check (made out to Nolo) and tell us which library you want to receive your gift of Nolo books.
We'll then match the amount of your check (up to $1500) and send the library a credit for Nolo books, along with a catalog and a letter acknowledging you as the donor. Your library will then choose which books they would like to receive.
So send us $10, $100 or (yes!) $1000 (up to $1500), and your library will receive $20, $200, or $2000 (up to $3000) worth of Nolo books, in your name.

Need more information? Call us at (800) 955-4775 or email LibraryCS@nolo.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Evaluating Electronic Resources

I recently received a question about my experience with managing electronic resources. After writing it, it occurred to me that other people may have the same question, so I am posting my reply here as well. I have not managed electronic resources in about three years. The technology has changed quite a bit, but my primary concerns have not changed. For that reason, I still have some strong opinions on the subject. Here are the first four things I consider when evaluating a service.

1) Useful reports. This is not a big headliner, but most companies give obfuscated information about how people actually use what you pay for. ePeriodicals prefer to tout the number of searches and omit the number of full-text articles actually retrieved. The book analog is counting the number of times people search the catalog while ignoring the number of books actually checked out. Are they really giving you information that lets you form a valid decision to continue the contract?

2) Useful usage. This is actually a continuation of useful reports, but directed at statistics that appear useful but are actually deceptive. eBooks are particularly bad about this. An eBook may circulate 500% more often than its print counterpart, but only have a 2-day checkout compared to the print book's 21-day checkout. Should the eBook's circulation be discounted by 1050% to make the comparison a direct measure of time spent in the patron's hands? Should "views" be compared to in-house use instead of getting bundled with circulation? Or is the number so vague that it should be ignored the way we ignore title reading in the stacks? Every vendor is different. Knowing how the numbers are derived is important to creating honest comparisons.

3) Broad access. An eAudiobook that can only be listened to with the vendor's player is worth less than an eAudiobook that can be played with any device. If they demand the same price, resist buying and try to get a price that reflects the limitation. This is especially true when the limit creates ADA liability for the library.

4) Concurrent access. Multi-user (aka., Library) editions cost more than single-user (Retail) editions, but also address the liability of patrons copying the content to their player and then using it after returning it. Retail editions usually prohibit sharing the same way software licenses usually prohibit sharing, and the courts have been upholding those prohibitions. Libraries need to do their part in discouraging piracy. Concurrent access lets you convert potential illicit access into a chance for several patrons to concurrently check out a single item for group study, a book club, etc. It's more flexible and less expensive than trying to quickly buy a bunch of copies that will soon be discarded. Just remind them to delete their copies when they finish.

That would be my top four thoughts. I hope this helps. -Paul

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Vanishing Line Between Books and Internet

O'Reilly Insights
The Vanishing Line Between Books And Internet
Hugh McGuire, 09.15.10, 06:00 AM EDT
The inevitability of truly connected books and why publishers need APIs.



A few months ago I posted a tweet that said: "The distinction between 'the internet' & 'books' is totally totally arbitrary, and will disappear in 5 years. Start adjusting now."

The tweet got some negative reaction. But I'm certain this shift will happen, and should happen. (I won't take bets on the timeline, though.) It should happen because a book properly hooked into the Internet is a far more valuable collection of information than a book not properly hooked into the Internet. Once something is "properly hooked into the Internet," that something is part of the Internet.


Yahoo! BuzzIt will happen because: What is a book, after all, but a collection of data (text + images), with a defined structure (chapters, headings, captions), meta data (title, author, ISBN), prettied up with some presentation design? In other words, what is a book, but a website that happens to be written on paper and not connected to the Web?

E-books to date have mostly been approached as digital versions of print books to be read on a variety of digital devices, with a few bells and whistles--like video. While the false battle between e-books and print books will continue--you can read one on the beach, with no batteries; you can read another at night with no bedside lamp--these battles only scratch the surface of what the move to digital books really means. They continue to ignore the real, though as-yet unknown, value that comes with books being truly digital; not the phony, unconnected digital of our current understanding of "e-books."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Interview on KERA about libraries and the declining economy - in case you missed it!

The KERA interview program Think (The TV version of the show) interviewed Corinne Hill from the Dallas Public Library and Cathy Ziegler from the Plano Public Library about economic problems affecting libraries.

The link is the TSLAC Library Developments blog, which posted a video of the interview. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/librarydevelopments/?p=4759

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Grant Opportunity for Technology Access and Training

Support for Technology Skills Training Programs
Microsoft Elevate America Community Initiative

The Microsoft Elevate America Community Initiative partners with nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. that provide technology access and training in their local communities to help people find employment. Through the current request for proposals, Microsoft will award cash grants of $100,000 to $250,000, software, and technology training curriculum to eligible U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, including workforce agencies, community colleges, labor organizations, etc.

Eligible organizations should provide technology skills training, job placement, and strong employer connections. The focus is on organizations in underserved communities, with emphasis on organizations that address the needs of women and young workers (ages 18-25). The application deadline is October 8, 2010. Application guidelines are available on the Microsoft Elevate America website under "Information for Organizations."

Wikipedia for Credit - Inside Higher Ed

Wikipedia is here to stay................we need to learn to use the tool effectively - not just ban it.
Wikipedia for Credit - Inside Higher Ed

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

IFLA World Report on Libraries

The World Report series is a biennial report series that reports on the state of the world in terms of freedom of access to information, freedom of expresion and related issues. The reports are available online at:
http://www.ifla.org/en/publications/iflafaife-world-report-series
and can be downloaded free of charge.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Interesting Webinar -

WEBINAR Fall 2010 - Register today!

The Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians Webinar will be held on September 17, 2010 from noon to 1:30pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Registration for the webinar is now open! The cost is $15 and libraries can feel free to share this access with a group.

Tim Bucknall, the Assistant Dean, University Libraries at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and the Founder and Convener of the Carolina Consortia will describe how Journal Finder, the first link resolver to go into production in the U.S. was developed from an in house journal linking solution to its current use by 40 libraries in 6 states. It was recently sold to WT Cox, a serials subscription agency.

Jon Obermeyer, Director of External Education and Outreach at Wake Forest University Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and former CEO of the Piedmont Triad Entrepreneurial Network (PTEN), will help you to develop your entrepreneurial ideas and will provide a road map for bringing them to the marketplace.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Books Have Many Futures

AP
It's Kindle, and other e-readers, vs. The Book.
Published: August 20
, 2010
by Linton Weeks
The premise of Lane Smith's new work for children, It’s a Book, is simple: Books are under siege.

On the first page a donkey asks a monkey, "What do you have there?" The monkey replies: "It’s a book."
"How do you scroll down?" the donkey asks. "Do you blog with it?"
Then he asks: "Where’s your mouse? ... Can you make characters fight? ... Can it text? ... Tweet? ... Wi-Fi? ... Can it do this? TOOT!"
No, the monkey repeatedly replies. "It’s a book."
Smith's book, in stores this month, may be an example of a dying breed. A book, published -- and meant to be read -- on paper.
People have been talking about "the death of the book" for more than a decade. But recent events suggest the end may be imminent for bound-paper books as we have known them for more than 500 years. Hardbound and paperback books may never totally disappear, but they could become scary scarce -- like eight-track tapes, typewriters and wooden tennis rackets.

In July, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his customers now buy more digital versions of stories -- designed for Amazon's proprietary reading tablet, the Kindle -- than they do hardcover books. That is an astonishing fact, Bezos said, "when you consider that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."

For the complete story.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Life Through Literacy



Take a look at this video - great literacy program for teens and their babies through the Arlington Public Library!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Get a Blazing-Fast Computer for Free

By Farhad Manjoo
Posted Monday, July 26, 2010, at 4:38 PM ET

excerpt:
So Ubuntu is good. But why should you use it? After all, nearly every computer you encounter will likely be running either Windows or the Mac OS. You can buy a new PC preloaded with Ubuntu, but they're not easy to find (and, anyway, you don't save too much by doing so). So what's the point?
To me, it's the perfect way to give an aging Windows PC new life. Many of us have an old computer sitting around that, theoretically, is perfectly usable—you've just given up on it because it's too slow and too broken down. Perhaps the machine doesn't run modern programs. Or maybe it's become bloated by software you should never have installed, or colonized by spyware that sneaked by your defenses. Or perhap! s the machine is just old—over time, computers, like people, pick up all kinds of annoying affectations, and eventually they begin to drive you insane. But unlike people, a computer can be completely remade. All you need to do is reinstall its operating system, wiping it clean of every tic it's picked up in its life. More often than not, this relatively simple step will make the machine as good as new.
If your machine is really old, though, reinstalling its original OS could be a step backward. Consider, for instance, the laptop that I purchased in the spring of 2006. The computer—a Dell with a Pentium M processor—came with Windows XP pre-installed. In its day, it was a pretty solid machine, and the only real hardware flaw it's picked up over the years is a busted battery—it doesn't hold a charge, which means I've got to keep the computer plugged in all the time. That hasn't bothered me too much; for about two years, as I picked up newer and better portable ma! chines, I've relegated the Dell laptop to my kitchen counter, where I use it mainly to consult recipes, check my e-mail, and listen to NPR while I cook (I lead a thrilling life). Despite this fairly undemanding assignment, I've noticed the machine getting progressively worse at simple tasks over the last few months. For reasons I haven't bothered to check out—maybe it was a virus or spyware, maybe some kind of hardware or driver error, who knows?—the laptop would take forever to load up a Web page and would completely bog down when more than two browser tabs were open. The machine needed a makeover.
Yes, I could have hunted down the Dell's original XP disks and reinstalled it to its factory settings. But it's 2010—why should I use an operating system first made in 2001? That's when I decided on Ubuntu. It took me 10 minutes to download the OS, and another five to burn a CD (you can also install it using a USB thumb drive). Installation took another 15 minutes, and it went swimmingly—Ubuntu detected all my machine's hardware (soun! d, Wi-Fi, and one-finger scrolling on the laptop's trackpad work perfectly), and it came to life with several key applications pre-installed.
One of the main problems I had with Ubuntu two years ago was its mysterious app-install process. Unlike on the Mac or in Windows, Ubuntu didn't really like when I went to the Web, downloaded a program, and installed it—it would either fail to install the program or fail to put the installed app where I could find it. Instead, Ubuntu wanted you to install programs through its built-in "package manager," a centralized repository of apps for the system. While the package manager is still the preferred route to get new applications, I didn't have any trouble downloading programs from the Web this time around. My only quibble: Ubuntu doesn't offer any kind of startup guide showing you around the OS's main features. You pretty much have to consult the helpful online communi! ty of Ubuntu devotees.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cadaver displays in the library?

I just saw this article and it made me think this would be a great display in the anatomy section - let's pursue these types of exhibits for libraries!

Preserved cadaver exhibits banned in Seattle

Seattle council bans exhibits like 'Bodies'
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012391385_bodies19m.html
Exhibition or freak show? 'Bodies…The Exhibition' cashes in our own curiosity
http://www.seattlepi.com/visualart/286689_bodies28.html

Anatomy of a controversy
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/19/AR2005081902055.html

Missouri congressman concerned about origin of bodies at exhibit currently in Cleveland
http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2010/07/lawmaker_concerned_about_origi.html

20/20: Inside the Bodies Exhibit
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4300207

Photographic History of Human Dissection
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/04/29/dissection

Not many things get banned in Seattle, so it was a bit unusual this week to learn that the city council in the Emerald City voted to ban commercial cadaver displays. For those who might not be familiar with such matters, preserved cadaver displays have become tremendously popular over the past several years, and they include the exhibits "Bodies" and "Body Worlds". In Seattle, Councilmember Nick Licata expressed concern over the origins of the bodies used in these displays, and other citizens (including anatomy professors and museum directors) thought that the exhibits were disrespectful to the families of the deceased. The popular exhibit "Bodies" had been on display twice in Seattle, and the group responsible for sponsoring the exhibit stated that they received these bodies from a plastination facility in China, which had in turn, received them from Chinese medical universities. Similar laws have been signed into law in Hawaii, New York, and San Francisco. The ban in Seattle does not apply to human remains that are more than 100 years old or consist solely of human teeth or hair. Given the continued popularity of such exhibits, this issue may be revisited in other towns across the United States. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a news article from this Tuesday's Seattle Times which talks about the recent ban passed by the Seattle City Council. The second link leads to a thoughtful retrospective piece from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer which reviews the original exhibit which found its way to Seattle in 2006. Moving on, the third link leads to an excellent piece from the Washington Post that reports on the initial reactions to the "Bodies: The Exhibition" display. The fourth link leads to a recent piece from the Cleveland Plain Dealer which discusses concerns about the "Bodies: The Exhibition" raised by a Missouri congressman which may affect an upcoming exhibit in St. Louis. The fifth link leads to a segment from ABC's "20/20" program about the Bodies exhibit. It should be noted that the segment contains images that some persons may find graphic in their depiction of the human body. The final link leads to a piece from Inside Higher Ed which provides material on a recent book about the photographic history of medical dissection.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Prefer E-books?

Mashable.com is a website devoted to news in social and digital media, technology and web culture. They asked their readers whether they preferred e-books or print books. The results were a little surprising, given the audience being polled:



23% prefer e-books

42% prefer print books

35% said each format had its advantages



You can see the results here: http://mashable.com/2010/07/24/e-book-real-book-results/

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gamestorming - Alternative Work Environments

In defense of games in the workplace
"Gamestorming" author Dave Gray on how games cut through creative chaos.
by Mac Slocum

We're hardwired to play games. We play them for fun. We play them in our social interactions. We play them at work.

That last one is tricky. "Games" and "work" don't seem like a natural pairing. Their coupling in the workplace either implies goofing off (the fun variant) or office politics (the not-so-fun type).

Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo, co-authors of the upcoming book Gamestorming, have a different perspective. They contend that an embrace and understanding of game mechanics can yield benefits in many work environments, particularly those where old hierarchical models are no longer applicable.

In the following Q&A, Gray discusses the collaborative power of games and how they can cut through increasing workplace complexity.


What is Gamestorming?

Dave Gray: Gamestorming is a set of collaboration practices that originated in Silicon Valley in the 1970s and has been evolving ever since. It's an approach that emphasizes quick, ad-hoc organization of teams so they can rapidly co-design and co-develop ideas. As my co-authors and I observed these practices, they seemed to look more like games than any other form of work we were familiar with. Hence the term "gamestorming."


Is each of us playing some sort of game all the time?

DG: In a sense we're always playing games of one sort or another. "Game" is a big word that can have many meanings. For example, "game-playing," "gaming the system," "getting your head in the game," and so on.

In this context, games are simply a way to put structure around the chaos of creative work. The game rules are a way of distributing information into the space you are working in, and distributing power equally among the people in a group. They are a method for flattening hierarchy, increasing engagement, and just generally speeding things up.


Does Gamestorming require specific skills?

DG: Gamestorming is primarily a mindset. It's an approach to work that's about engaging people in collaboratory activities. It's not a game if people are forced to play, so you need to have people and projects that stir people's curiosity and emotion. The Gamestorming skills are synthesizing and social skills, like visualization, improvisation, good listening and language skills.


Can games apply in any organization? Or, are there jobs and industries where it's less effective?

DG: Gamestorming is a great approach when you are entering into unknown territory, when you need to imagine or design for the future, and when you need to tap creative energy. What games are best at is facilitating collaboration and innovation. Where the work is predictable, or where you want consistency, games are not the solution. You don't want people playing too many games in the accounting department.


What is the relationship between complexity and game mechanics?

DG: The world is only getting more complex, and the more complex a system gets the less predictable it is. Games are a way to create simplified systems that mirror the real world. Plus, they're a safe place to try out various scenarios and see what kinds of results are possible. You can tweak one or two variables and see how that affects the system.




How has workplace motivation changed as we've moved into a knowledge economy?

DG: In a traditional industrial setting, say, a factory, it's easy to see what everybody is doing and how what they do fits into the bigger picture. It's easy to see when people are working and when they are slacking off.

But in a knowledge economy, where people are all moving symbols around on screens, and many work from home or the road, it's harder to coordinate the work. Fundamentally, in a knowledge economy, you want people to be creative. That means you need them to be interested, passionate and engaged. The modern cubicle layout and the intangibility of the work makes it difficult. You need to find ways to make it easier for people to share their work and the excitement they have for it. You need to fan the flames.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Are Online Tools Being Used??

Reposted from WebJunction’s blog;
In a survey to a random sample of WebJunction members this spring, respondents answered a question on how frequently they used online tools, either in or outside of their professional life. We found the results interesting. Nearly half of the respondents (49%) use email “listservs” daily. One-third of the respondents (35%) use professional or social networking sites daily. A quarter or less of the respondents use the following daily: online news or magazines (21%), blogs (14%), RSS feeds (14%), bookmarking sites (10%), wikis (9%), employment sites (6%) and online courses (3%).

Urban library respondents (72%) are more likely to use email listservs daily than suburban (57%) and rural (45%) library respondents. Also, urban library respondents (18%) are more likely to use RSS feeds daily than rural library respondents (9%). Suburban library respondents (40%) are more likely to use professional or social networking sites daily than urban (31%) and rural (31%) library respondents.
Alas, lists are still alive and well!

Does this match your activities? Go to the full blog post to see full chart and additional results. And check out our competencies for social networking in libraries.

Monday, July 12, 2010

California Clearinghouse helpful for all rural libraries!

Remind me again, please...what is the Clearinghouse?*

The Rural Library Resources Clearinghouse is an online archive to help California rural public libraries serve their users more efficiently. By providing examples of commonly needed documents, materials and programs in all aspects of library operations, the Clearinghouse benefits rural libraries by eliminating the need to "reinvent the wheel" for every new policy, practice, procedure or project needed locally.

Although developed for use by California rural libraries, any library is welcome to visit and use www.resourceroundup.net

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Are You Pretty Enough to Get a Job? | Employment | Career | Mainstreet

Are You Pretty Enough to Get a Job? | Employment | Career | Mainstreet

As if looking for a job isn't hard enough.......................

Mall Library Proving Wildly Successful | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

Mall Library Proving Wildly Successful | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

People streamed into a storefront on a recent summer day at an upscale Dallas mall, but they weren't drawn to a heavy discount on designer clothes. It was story sing-a-long time for babies at one of the city library's newest outposts.

The library for kids 12 and under has been wildly successful in offering unconventional access to families who might not make a trip to a traditional public library, and it's one of a growing number of strategies used by librarians nationwide to reintroduce communities to their local library.

"I think what's happening now is really that focus on convenience," said Sari Feldman, president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. "How do we make the public library as convenient as Amazon, Netflix? Part of that is putting library branches in the path of customer."

"We are very aware of the fact that our biggest advantage is that we're free, but if time is actually a commodity for people, will people be willing to spend money rather than go to a library?"

She said putting libraries in malls is one of many efforts by public libraries to become more convenient. Even at more traditional branches, libraries have built cafes, provided downloadable books or installed drive-through windows.

With about 5,000 items, including books and DVDs, the Bookmarks branch in Dallas' NorthPark Center checks out as many items as branches eight times its size, said Jo Giudice, youth services manager. She said in the two years since it opened, it's had to increase story times to 12 a week compared to the two or three at most branches.

"It's been extremely successful. Numbers have risen every month in respect to programming and book checkout," said Giudice. "We've reintroduced the library to some young families."

The American Library Association doesn't have a comprehensive list of how many libraries are in malls or shopping centers but has an informal tally of around two dozen such branches. One of those opened as far back as the 1960s, but the idea seemingly has grown in popularity in the last decade.

Some locations are arranged like traditional libraries, while others resemble a bookstore. There's also a handful of libraries with arts centers, museums and even apartment buildings.

In Wichita, Kan. there's a library in a grocery story, and a small annex opened by the Chicago Public Library to offer best-sellers to patrons in a visitor center in the city's historic Water Works Pumping Station along Michigan Avenue.

Meanwhile, traditional libraries are trying to become more convenient. Leslie Burger, executive director of New Jersey's Princeton Public Library, said her library in downtown Princeton has a cafe, a bookstore selling donated books, return boxes around town and will mail books to borrowers. This summer, it started hosting a farmer's market.

"It's really that public libraries are really in the midst of some amazing transformation," Burger said. "I think the point of all this is we have multiple generations that we're serving right now and what we're trying to do is surprise and delight our customers."

More people are visiting public libraries, with the Institute of Museum and Library Services showing an almost 20 percent increase from 1999 to 2008, even though the number of librarians remains the same and more libraries have decreased hours and flat or decreased funding.

While there was a bump in library use as the economy faltered, libraries have been seeing consistent growth over the last decade, said Larra Clark, project manager in the Library Association's office for Research and Statistics.

In the face of budget concerns, Feldman, who is also executive director of Ohio's Cuyahoga County Public Library in suburban Cleveland, said a shopping center location can be a good for people and the library system.

Opening a new location in a strip mall nine months ago, one of her branches found affordable rent because of the large number of vacant shops. And since the library is arranged like a bookstore with a self-service focus, they only need the equivalent of 2½ staffers compared to the 11 needed for a full stand-alone branch, she said.

For Bookmarks in Dallas, the owners of NorthPark paid for the mall space to be converted into a library and charge only $1 a year for rent. The library's programs are sponsored by a local energy company.

Curled up reading a book to her 4-year-old son at Bookmarks, 31-year-old Priscilla Gluckman said they came for a yoga class and stayed to read. On such visits they also usually have lunch or shop at NorthPark, which offers higher-priced storefronts like Neiman Marcus and Carolina Herrera.

Bookmarks, she said, is a nice contrast to the consumerism.

"It was just perfect. It was just a nice clean place that wasn't trying to market you something -- just a book," she said. "NorthPark is so high-end. It was so refreshing to see this little pocket of childhood."

Online:
American Library Association, http://www.ala.org/
Bookmarks, http://dallaslibrary2.org/branch/bookmarks.php

Copyright Associated Press First Published: Jul 6, 2010 8:45 AM CDT

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Libraries Have a Novel Idea - WSJ.com


Libraries Have a Novel Idea - WSJ.com

This article is interesting and makes one begin to think about the future of ereaders and books - instead of starting the discussion - we need to be leading the discussion!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Appletell reviews BookLover for iPhone, iPod touch

Appletell reviews BookLover for iPhone, iPod touch

I confess - I do not have an Iphone - I do have an I-Pod however.........Anyway - thought this was an interesting review of the BookLover app.......

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Failure to Communicate

Check out this article detailing the current lawsuit with e-reserves.

A Failure to Communicate

Out of patience, in April 2008, publishers sued four individuals at Georgia State University in their "official capacities." Niko Pfund, publisher of Oxford University Press, one of the named plaintiffs in the case, along with Cambridge University Press and SAGE Publications, said the plaintiffs were reticent to sue, but had little choice. "I consider this a failure of dialogue," Pfund says of the suit. "It's a shame. We've successfully come to agreements with others over the years. But Georgia State just wouldn't talk with us."

The allegations in the complaint offer some sense of just how much material is being accessed through electronic course content systems on college campuses: publishers claim that at Georgia State, more than 6,700 works were "made available through a variety of online systems and outlets" without permission, representing "systematic, widespread, and unauthorized copying and distribution of a vast amount of copyrighted works" for students in more than 600 courses.

On one hand, the lawsuit has certainly served as a shot across the bow of the university library community and faculties who use course management systems, and has prompted many schools to revisit their policies and procedures. But the legal case against Georgia State itself has been a complex, uphill battle for publishers from the start.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Library "Apps for That"

Library “Apps for That”
by Kam McEvoy from Central Texas Library System

Are you looking for some resources to offer your on-the-go patrons with mobile devices? Or are you a free-range reference librarian who needs access to the databases without being tethered to the desk?

Here are some mobile apps to consider for your iPhone, Blackberry, Android, iPod Touch (it uses a wi-fi connection and runs apps like an iPhone – perfect for the library to buy and use as the on-duty reference tool), etc.:

1. Gale’s Access my Library app -
Gale created this free iPhone/iPod application to help people use library resources by detecting physical library branches within a 10-mile radius of the user on demand and using a web product to connect people to the Gale online resources that their local libraries subscribe to. The app is downloadable from www.accessmylibrary.com or from the iTunes store. You can promote this in your library with marketing materials or place it on your website. Through TexShare, your patrons should be getting Health and Wellness Resource Center, Literature Resource Center, and InfoTrac Custom Newsletters at the very least.

2. EBSCOhost Mobile is EBSCO’s answer to the Gale app. It can be accessed at: http://m.ebscohost.com/ or http://search.ebscohost.mobi/ (not through the iTunes app store). EBSCOhost Mobile has the following features available: Basic Searching, HTML and PDF Full Text, Search Modes, Limiters, Image Quick View, Image Collection
(depending on the database that has been selected), E-mailing articles, Preferences, Multi-database Searching, and Branding. These are free to access if you set up a user account at the library ahead of time or are using it in the library.
Again, TexShare gets your patrons a subscription to a ton of EBSCO databases.

3. WorldCat Mobile App can be accessed through the iTunes store, or type this URL into your phone's Web browser: http://www.worldcat.org/m/. You can:
• Search for library materials—Enter search terms such as keywords, author or title
• Find a WorldCat library near you—Enter your ZIP, postal code or location in the Libraries Locator
• Call a library—Highlight and click the phone number in a library listing to place a call
• Map a route—Find the fastest way to a WorldCat library using the mapping software already on your device
4. Other Reference Tools to Consider:
• Wikipedia Mobile – no, it’s not Britannica, but it’s convenient and comprehensive – a good starting point for many patrons.
• WhitePages Mobile for people and business search
• Basic Spanish for Dummies – this one costs 99 cents, but its Spanish-English dictionary might come in handy if you are trying to assist Spanish-speaking patrons with limited English and you’re not fluent.
• Meebo – keep in touch with your patrons through instant messaging on your iPod Touch or iPhone
• Check out Shelfari if you haven’t already – a social networking site about books! Here’s the mobile-friendly website: http://m.shelfari.com

These are just a few resources, and we will be thinking of more ways to help you and your mobile users, including making our own website mobile-friendly. And please let us know about apps that are useful to you!

Shawn P. Williams: Budget woes a chance to remake libraries | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Opinion: Viewpoints

Shawn P. Williams: Budget woes a chance to remake libraries | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Opinion: Viewpoints

The library is in the news again - check out this article. I believe responses will be interesting from librarians and the community.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Y2K...............

Remember all the hubbub about Y2K - just reminiscing a bit and ran across the Library and Information Technology Association for the 1999 conference and found this quote: We can't fend off e-books with a glib "I like to read a book at the beach, under a tree, or in bed" any more, because now you can do all of those things. With some public libraries starting to lend Rocket e-books and NetLibrary signing up universities right and left, the world of e-books is taking shape, although it might not affect your library for a year or two. What librarians need to do now is stay informed and get involved in discussions with e-book publishers about standards - don't assume that privacy concerns, fair use in copyright, and methods of charging for use are going to conform to what we've gotten used to in libraries with print materials.

What amazes me is 10 years later we are still just now embracing ereaders and waiting with anticipation who will be the leaders in readers?? My birthday is coming up and I was thinking about getting a Kindle - but then do I really need it? I want to download for free from the library - so do I go for the Nook instead? Maybe I'll wait and see just what is available for Y3K : )

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sharing IT experiences from Kansas | TechSoup for Libraries

Sharing IT experiences from Kansas | TechSoup for Libraries: "Sharing IT experiences from Kansas
26 May 2010 - 11:03am | Steve Stone
Tags: Emporia Public LibraryIT Tech TalkSteve Stonetap
At the Emporia Public Library where I am the IT guy, we were working on upgrading our HDD protection software. The software we chose, based on price and apparent features, ended up being very problematic. We ended up abandoning it and purchasing a different software.
As my director and I were looking back on the series of events, trying to learn from our mistakes, she asked me a question,
'Why didn't we talk to other libraries in Kansas to see what they used?'"

Join the Blog for Techie Sharing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cable Children's Program from Denton Public Library


Library Larry Online

Fun program created and produced by Denton Public Library - check it out.


Catch Library Larry on T.V.

•7 a.m. & 4 p.m. daily on DTV, Charter Channel 26, Verizon Channel 38 & Grande Channel 12.
•10 a.m. on Saturdays, 4:30 p.m. Mondays & Thursdays on Charter Channel 25 & Verizon channel 39.

Monday, May 10, 2010

TechNet 2010 - Library Technology Conference

There's still time to register for TechNet 2010 - The 3rd Annual North Texas Conference on Library Technology! Scheduled for Friday May 14 at the Decatur Civic Center in Decatur, TX, the event's intended for all library personnel whose responsibilities involve the use of technology, whether at the most basic or the most expert level.

In keeping with the theme of Ahead of the Curve: Learn, Explore, Engage, the keynote presentation will feature Amigos Continuing Education Librarian Christine Peterson discussing Playing Catch-Up with Technology. Want a sample of that presentation? Visit our webpage at http://www.ntrls.org and click on this month's featured podcast "Technology Trends in Libraries." This month's featured article, "Successful Library Planning for Web 2.0," was written by Texas Christian University Science Reference Librarian Jeff Bond - who happens to be scheduled to present a couple of sessions on Going Mobile: Building Your Library's Presence on Mobile Devices" at that conference.

Besides choosing from 22 different session topics, participants can visit the Technology Petting Zoo to compare an Amazon Kindle to a Sony Reader to a Barnes & Noble Nook, various digial cameras, an electronic magnifier and different handheld illuminated magnifiers, several brands of Large Print keyboards, and more! Technology-related exhibitors will provide group demonstrations and also be on-hand for one-on-one discussions.

Throw in doorprizes, CE/CPE credits and excellent opportunities for networking with your peers, top all that with lunch and refreshments prepared by the facility's on-site chef, and you'll get the big picture.

To put yourself into that picture, register online at http://www.ntrs.org/ce/ . To review the schedule and/or find out more about the sessions and session presenters, visit http://www.librarytechnetwork.com/agenda.html . If you hurry, you too can get AHEAD OF THE CURVE!

Six Things You Need to Know About Facebook Connections Commentary by Kurt Opsahl

May 4th, 2010

"Connections." It's an innocent-sounding word. But it's at the heart of some of the worst of Facebook's recent changes.

Facebook first announced Connections a few weeks ago, and EFF quickly wrote at length about the problems they created. Basically, Facebook has transformed substantial personal information — including your hometown, education, work history, interests, and activities — into "Connections." This allows far more people than ever before to see this information, regardless of whether you want them to.

Since then, our email inbox has been flooded with confused questions and reports about these changes. We've learned lots more about everyone's concerns and experiences. Drawing from this, here are six things you need to know about Connections:

1.Facebook will not let you share any of this information without using Connections. You cannot opt-out of Connections. If you refuse to play ball, Facebook will remove all unlinked information from your profile.

2.Facebook will not respect your old privacy settings in this transition. For example, if you had previously sought to share your Interests with "Only Friends," Facebook will now ignore this and share your Connections with "Everyone."

3.Facebook has removed your ability to restrict its use of this information. The new privacy controls only affect your information's "Visibility," not whether it is "publicly available."

Explaining what "publicly available" means, Facebook writes:


"Such information may, for example, be accessed by everyone on the Internet (including people not logged into Facebook), be indexed by third party search engines, and be imported, exported, distributed, and redistributed by us and others without privacy limitations."

4.Facebook will continue to store and use your Connections even after you delete them. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not there. Even after you "delete" profile information, Facebook will remember it. We've also received reports that Facebook continues to use deleted profile information to help people find you through Facebook's search engine.

5.Facebook sometimes creates a Connection when you "Like" something. That "Like" button you see all over Facebook, and now all over the web? It too can sometimes add a Connection to your profile, without you even knowing it.

6.Your posts may show up on a Connection page even if you do not opt in to the Connection. If you use the name of a Connection in a post on your wall, it may show up on the Connection page, without you even knowing it. (For example, if you use the word "FBI" in a post).

You can send Facebook your comments on the new Connections here.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

10 Technology Ideas Your Library Can Implement Next Week

Read the entire article from the March 2010 American Libraries for great ideas!

10 Technology Ideas Your Library Can Implement Next Week
Even non-techies can offer cutting-edge services right away
By Ellyssa Kroski

Here are 10 ideas you can use to start creating, collaborating, connecting, and communicating through cutting-edge tools and techniques. All of them are culled from the 10 books in the Tech Set series.
New social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter enable librarians to converse, communicate, and collaborate with patrons as never before, because they are increasingly a part of people's everyday lives. A brochure that describes your library with a few pictures is great, but a video tour that people can watch on your website or blog is immeasurably better. Enabling patrons to save their catalog searches is important, but offering the ability to notify patrons via email and text messaging when new acquisitions arrive presents a fresh way to connect with users.
Librarians who are still becoming comfortable with the Web are often reticent to begin using new technologies in their day-to-day work because the learning curve often takes more time than they have at hand. When I begin teaching people about Web 2.0, mobile, and emerging technologies, I try to answer three questions:
• What is it?
• Why is it important?
• How can it help me better serve my users tomorrow?
Here are 10 ideas you can use to start creating, collaborating, connecting, and communicating through cutting-edge tools and techniques. All of them are culled from the 10 books in the Tech Set series, to be published by Neal-Schuman in March.

Monday, April 26, 2010

8 things I wish everyone knew about email by Seth Godin

1. Change your settings so that email from you has a name, your name, not a blank or some unusual characters, in the from field. (ask a geek or IT person for help if you don't know how).
2. Change your settings so that the bottom of every email includes a signature (often called a sig) that includes your name and your organization.
3. Change your settings so that when you reply to a note, the note you're replying to is included below what you write (this is called quoting).
4. Don't hit reply all. Just don't. Okay, you can, but read this first.
5. You can't recall an email you didn't mean to send. Some software makes you think you can, but you can't. Not reliably.
6. Email lives forever, is easy to spread and can easily show up in discovery for a lawsuit.
7. Please don't ask me to save a tree by not printing your email. It doesn't work, it just annoys the trees.
8. Send yourself some email at a friend's computer. Read it. Are the fonts too big or too small? Does it look like a standard email? If it doesn't look like a standard, does this deviation help you or hurt you? Sometimes, fitting in makes sense, no?
And a bonus tip from Cory Doctorow, who gets more email than you and me combined: When you go on vacation, set up an autoreply that says, "I'm on vacation until x/x/2010. When I get back, I'm going to delete all the email that arrived while I was gone, so if this note is important, please send it to me again after that date."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our Public Library Lifeline is Fraying.........

This is long for a blog post - but the article is so good I wanted to post it in its entirety.

Our Public Library Lifeline Is Fraying. We'll Be Sorry When it Snaps
by Art Brodsky, Communications Director, Public Knowledge
Posted: April 11, 2010
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/art-brodsky/our-public-library-lifeli_b_533529.html
This is National Library Week, a time normally reserved for celebrating an institution that plays a vital role in many of our cities, towns and counties. Instead, many libraries, particularly public libraries, are being decimated by budget cuts at a time when library services are needed most.

Libraries, once considered a necessity, are now seen as a luxury. They are low-hanging fruit for budget pluckers, particularly at the state and local levels of government in communities across the country. It's been a slow death by attrition over the past couple of years. First, it was the budget for books and materials because, after all, books and materials aren't people. No matter that books and materials are what makes a library, well, a library. Then came the hours of operation, then the staff, then the closure of branches. No two communities are approaching the situation identically, but in cities from Boston to Indianapolis, the stories are increasingly dire.
In Boston, the trustees voted to close four branches. There was lots of protest, and Mayor Thomas Menino still has to make the final call, but the situation doesn't look good.
The Florida legislature is considering eliminating state aid to libraries entirely, while the New Jersey legislature is only looking a at a 74 percent cut. Indianapolis and surrounding Marion County are also looking at closing six branches and cutting back programs and staff.

In my home community of Montgomery County, Maryland, formerly one of the wealthiest local jurisdictions, the County Council is looking at a budget for fiscal year 2011 of $29 million - down from $40 million just three years ago. This year, it is slated for a 23 percent cut - one of the largest of any agency, on top of cuts in the last fiscal year with percentage decreases larger than all but one county agency. And this is for a county of about one million residents in which 70 percent hold library cards. It's even worse across the river, in Fairfax County, Virgina, where libraries were declared a "discretionary" service while cutting 30 of 54 full-time librarians. Libraries discretionary? That's nuts.
These are only some of the stories. They are being repeated endlessly across the country, perhaps even where you live. Some places put a high value on their libraries. Contrast the $29 million of my county for the $51 million library budget in Seattle, a city of about 600,000. Sure, Seattle needed to cut the library budget, but the fact that they started out much higher than my home says something about their priorities. Sadly, Seattle is the exception, not the rule.

One problem for libraries in some jurisdictions is that they don't fit squarely into any one policymaker's domain, like public safety or a school system. Libraries serve a range of purposes - they help teach children to read, they help students work on projects, they provide meeting space for tutoring, they provide Internet access. They serve students, seniors, immigrants. They provide assistance to the unemployed. Libraries combine education, workforce development, socialization, recreation. But they aren't the school board, or a social services agency, and so generally get buried in the larger budgets.

The cuts come at a time when library use is increasing, for all types of services. The one that hits home the most these days is the crucial access to the Internet. A study by the Information School at the University of Washington found that: "Low-income adults are more likely to rely on the public library as their sole access to computers and the Internet than any other income group. Overall, 44 percent of people living below the federal poverty line used computers and the Internet at their public libraries."
In addition, the study reported: "Americans across all age groups reported they used library computers and Internet access. Teenagers are the most active users. Half of the nation's 14- to 18-year-olds reported that they used a library computer during the past year, typically to do school homework."
Ask any librarian, or read any of the stories about the budget cuts, and one message that stands out loud and clear is that the Internet at libraries is a lifeline for many. Here the unemployed look for jobs, and apply for jobs - many companies these days accept applications online only. Here people learn what many would consider rudimentary skills - how to attach a document to an email, for example. Is this what a library is supposed to do? Yes. The Internet has become an integral part of the library mission.

Internet support for libraries is national policy, going back to the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the amendment from current Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA) as well as former Nebraska senators, the late James Exon and Robert Kerrey. Today, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) is trying to update the policy for the 21st century.

But it would be a mistake to say that the Internet replaces libraries. It doesn't. It's an adjunct. More than one budget officer has said that people don't need libraries because they can go online. First, many people can't go online due to their economic circumstances. Second, librarians help to guide research. A simple online search will not always achieve desired results, as anyone who does this well knows. And libraries still have those quaint old things called books, many of which aren't online. The printed medium still has a lot of attraction for many, from the youngest readers whose parents check out armloads of picture books, to the serious readers and researchers who realize there is more to find than what's online.
It would also be a mistake to say that bookstores replace libraries. Nothing against bookstores, but they aren't a public resource. Quite obviously, who have to pay to enjoy the fruits of a bookstore. Libraries are there for everyone.
Politicians are loathe to raise money to pay for libraries. That's the kiss of death to an aroused citizenry that wants services but doesn't want to pay for them or, in some cases doesn't value them at all. Still, it's nice that around the country, people are protesting the cuts to their local libraries. In some cases, library lovers have formed foundations or other organizations to supplement their libraries. These are to be lauded, and supported, but they aren't a substitute for the public commitment that led to public libraries in the first place.
Let's give the last word to someone who has a secret ambition to be a librarian, but whose career went in a different direction. No less an authority than Keith Richards put it best in his forthcoming autobiography: "When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dulcinea Media - a significant find at the TLA Conference!

A significant highlight of my experiences at this year's TLA Conference was meeting Mark Moran, President & CEO of Dulcinea Media, and seeing the online products his company provides without fee. Check out any or all of the following and see if you're not impressed:
http://www.dulcineamedia.com/
http://www.findingdulcinea.com/ & www.encontrandodulcinea.com/ - Be sure to review the index at the bottom of each page!
http://www.sweetsearch.com/
http://www.findingeducation.com/

According to their website, their mission is "to bring users the best information on the Web for any topic, employing human insight and methodical review." Information at www.findingDulcinea.com/employees.html, shows that they employee a team with appropriate expertise to tackle the challenge of meeting that mission.

For more information, read "8 Ways that Public Librarians Can Use Dulcinea Media to Serve Patrons" at http://blog,findingdulcinea.com/2010/04/8-ways-that-public-libraries-can-use-dulcinea-media-to-serve-their-patrons.html and "8 Ways a Week: Using Dulcinea Media in the Classroom" at http://blog.findingdulcinea.com/2010/04/8-ways-a-week-using-dulcinea-media-in-the-classroom.html.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Hmmmm..Makes one think.........

As a follow-up to last night's Find a Job in Federal Libraries chat (please see the Wimba classroom off the SLIS Village homepage for the archive and the Career forum in the Village for the panelists' notes), please consider joining the Careers in Federal Libraries Google Group. The group's founder, Nancy Faget (also one of last night's panelists) describes the group below:

Students and job seekers may be interested in federal librarianship as a career choice because:
1. The average annual salary of a federal librarian is approximately $84,000
2. There are school, academic, medical, law, public, and special libraries in federal government
3. The Feds are hiring, even in this tough job market
An online group was set up to allow those interested in this career choice to continue the conversation with federal librarians. Educational presentations, resume reviews, and mentors are available on the Careers in Federal Libraries Google group. You may want to join and receive job announcements and career advice from federal librarians in ALA and SLA.