Friday, August 05, 2011

Homebound workshops in August - new content added!

Registration is open for two face-to-face NTLP workshops in August:

Books and More To Their Door!  Making Your Library More Inclusive
Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Time: 9:30-4:00
Location: Haltom City Public Library

Date: Thursday, August 18, 2011
Time: 9:30-4:00
Location: Denton Public Library, South Branch

These workshops will feature a panel discussion from the directors and outreach staff from the three pilot homebound libraries, best practices for developing homebound outreach programs, and strategies for forming effective community partnerships, and much more.  

I am also very pleased to announce that Kathleen Walls from the Texas Talking Books program will be presenting with us as well.  Kathleen will share how libraries can promote this free service to eligible members of their communities, including how to become a demonstration site.  

So, whether you are thinking about developing a homebound delivery service, want to learn more about the Texas Talking Books program, or just have a passion for outreach to underserved individuals in your community, we hope to see you there!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NTLP's "Collection Analysis" workshop rescheduled for 08/26

Summer is winding down and the kids are going back to school soon.  Why not treat yourself to a face-to-face workshop on a great topic?

The NTLP face-to-face workshop "I Have These Statistics - Now What? Getting Started on the Path to Collection Analysis" has been rescheduled for Friday, August 26th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Mansfield Public Library.  

Kathryn King, Senior Librarian and Adult Materials Selector for Fort Worth Public Library, will share the kind of collection analysis you need (customer oriented, not core list oriented) and why you need it (to optimize funding, staffing, and shelving and truly meet patron demand) as well as how to do it.  Don't miss this chance to see an encore presentation of the program Kathryn presented at PLA in Portland, Oregon!  

Registration is open on the NTLP CE Portal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Viva la Plinkit!

TSLAC reports that the Plinkit program, which makes it easy for a library to create a website at no cost, will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future.

This is good news at NTLP, where we currently support 25 Plinkit sites for North Texas libraries. (See the list at ) These websites are hosted at the Texas State Library, with administrative and tech support shared between TSLAC and NTLP. Each library has control over its own site's content and appearance.

If you have been thinking about a Plinkit website for your library, now is the time! Contact NTLP for more information.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Congrats to the Librarian In Black

Congratulations to Sarah Houghton-Jan, whose Librarian in Black  was awarded the Salem Press Library Blog Award for best general interest blog!

If you haven't heard, Sarah will be in North Texas presenting at the upcoming TechNet  Annual Conference on August 3rd.  Registration is open but filling up fast!  Don't miss this chance to hear Sarah and the rest of the awesome lineup of presenters at TechNet.

Ideas for Promoting YA literature

Here's a list of ways to promote YA literature using technology, from the edtech VISION blog. I especially like the creative use of a digital frames as a low-cost version of an electronic sign.

Thanks for sharing the blog, Carolyn Brewer!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TechNet Registration is Open!!!

The 4th annual NTLP Conference for Library Technology 
Quick Response to Technology 

Wednesday August 3, 2011 
8:30-9 a.m. Sign-In  
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Conference 

2010 West US Hwy 380; Decatur 76234 

Training Sessions ~ Exhibitor Demonstrations ~ Technology Petting Zoo 
Dedicated Time to Visit the Exhibit Hall ~ Refreshments ~ Up to 7 CE/CPE hours 
Time for Networking with Peers ~ Lunch ~ New This Year: Networking CafĂ© 

Intended for all library personnel  whose responsibilities involve the use of technology, 
whether at the most basic or the most expert level. 

Registration Fee: $25 through June 30;  $30 beginning July 1 
Lunch will be provided for all registered participants. 

Register now at  

Note that seating is very limited and - with Sarah Houghton-Jan
Michael Porter, Jessamyn West and Rachel Vacek among our speakers for this
very reasonably priced conference - we expect to reach maximum capacity right away!
Additional information: 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A resource for job seekers and those who support them

Most of you are probably familiar with TWDL (Texas Workskills Developments in Libraries), a cooperative effort between NTLP and several other system offices designed to help libraries meet the needs of job seekers in their communities.

Here's another online job-related resource, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to share with your staff, volunteers, and library users:

"Workforce3 One is an e-learning, knowledge sharing webspace that offers workforce professionals, employers, economic development, and education professionals a dynamic network featuring innovative workforce solutions. Online learning events, resource information, and tools help organizations learn how to develop strategies that enable individuals and businesses to be successful in the 21st century economy."

There are free podcasts, webinars, newsletters, and 11 different virtual communities, ranging from topics such as Youth Connections, Older Workers, and of particular interest to public libraries, the Partnerships Community of Practice group.  The Partnerships CoP focuses on community organizations and non-profits which are committed to helping Americans succeed in the labor market.

There is a wealth of information and resources on the website and I hope you enjoy checking it out.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

2011 NTLP Award Winners Announced!

NTLP is proud to announce the award winners for FY2011.  We are honoring the award winners on our website instead of holding an awards ceremony this year. Thanks to the the Awards Committee for reviewing the award nominations and making the difficult choice in selecting winners.  The winners are:

Margaret Irby Nichols Award

 Co-Winner of the Library Project/Program Award
for Libraries Serving Populations between 6,001 & 50,000

Co-Winner of the Library Project/Program Award
for Libraries Serving Populations between 6,001 & 50,000

Check out the NTLP homepage for a detailed description of these programs and video links for the winning submissions. Congratulations to the winners.  Great job!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

One Book, One Twitter?

For all you Twitter fans out there - here's a creative use of social networking to create an online book discussion:

"Jeff Howe, the author and journalism professor who coined the term “crowdsourcing,” wants to take [social networking book clubs] a step further and use Twitter to create the world’s largest virtual book-reading club. Howe is partnering with The Atlanticmagazine on a project called 1book140 that starts on June 1 and will Twitter-fy one book a month as selected by users."

It starts today, June 1, and the first book up is The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two NTLP training opportunities!

Are you interested in a quick (15 minute) refresher on customer service?  Do you want tools and techniques to manage change?  Registration is currently open for the following NTLP Continuing Education opportunities:

Online Workshop: Customer Service at the Library 
Registration is open until June 1, 2011 but you will have until July 31st to complete the workshop, evaluation and exercise.  
Steve Wishnack, President of Think and Do ( presents a fifteen minute presentation on customer service in the library. You will receive a link and password by email within 7 days of registration, if not earlier.  After viewing the presentation, you will need to complete the exercise and evaluation for CE credit. The link for these will also be included in the email you receive after registration.   

Transitions: Moving Through, Keeping Up, and Moving On 
June 8th, 10:30-11:45 a.m. (Audio-only workshop)
Our presenter, Lauren Burnett, speaker, trainer and coach for The Center for Inner Quality works with professionals who strive to enhance their credibility, connection and Communication.   Her learning and coaching sessions unleash the power of choice for extraordinary results and embrace break-through thinking and action to create cultures and conversations of influence.  

As a result of this webinar you will be able to… 
  • Identify 6 cycles, symptoms, what is needed to cope and properties of  the “danger zone” that can keep us stuck. 
  • Take away practical strategies on managing the 5 areas that change during change and typical associated resistances—security, direction, competency, direction and territory 
  • Benefit from best practice "how tos" of other library personnel—Front Line Wisdoms Leverage resiliency tips to enhance your elasticity and to move on
Attendees will be sent handouts prior to the date and will receive the phone number to call into the workshop via email 2-3 days before the workshop.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Salem Press Library Blog Awards

Do you love reading library blogs? Here's your chance to vote for your favorites and discover some new ones.

Salem Press Library Blog Awards

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Librarians discuss Ebooks, continuing saga

At BEA, Librarians Describe Challenges and Future of Ebooks

Here is an article in Library Journal about a panel of librarians discussing Ebooks during the BookExpo America last Wednesday. It was very interesting to me to hear alternate views on the Harper Collins limited checkouts issue, as well as the comments from librarians whose Ebook budgets are growing exponentially. One librarian also made a particularly salient point for publishers to consider: while publishers might not need libraries for big-name, best sellers, libraries often pay a pivotal role for mid-list and debut titles. It will be interesting to hear how publishers respond.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The future of libraries

Seth Godin has an interesting blog post on the future of libraries in the digital age. He moves through the past history of libraries as a place to house the books and the home for librarians who take care of the books.  As information becomes increasingly digital, how will this change librarians and libraries?

Godin envisions librarians surviving by taking an active role, producing content and proactively guiding users through the digital universe:

"Librarians that are arguing and lobbying for clever ebook lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario."

Godin also predicts: "The library is no longer a warehouse for dead books. Just in time for the information economy, the library ought to be the local nerve center for information."

What do you all think?  And, if you agree, how do we get there?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Librarians React to Amazon's New Lending Library: More Questions Than Celebrations

NTLP has a large consortium of Overdrive libraries. We are all waiting to see how this will play out. What do you think?

Librarians React to Amazon's New Lending Library: More Questions Than Celebrations

Congratulations to our award winners!

Tina Hager, Director of the Little Elm Public Library won the 2011 Siddie Joe Johnson Award from the TLA Children's Round Table. This award is presented annually to an outstanding children's librarian. See photos on the NTLP Facebook page.

Ray Stephens, a member of the NTLP Board of Directors, won the 2011 Texas Reference Source Award for his book Texas: A Historical Atlas. This award is presented by the TLA Reference Round Table to recognize an outstanding reference tool in Texas history, culture, or commerce. See a video about the book here.

Congratulations to Tina and Ray!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ALA calls on Congress to restore support to libraries in FY2012 budget

ALA calls on Congress to restore support to libraries in FY2012 budget
WASHINGTON, D.C.– H.R. 1473, the budget bill that will fund the government through September 2011, includes across-the-board cuts that may deeply affect libraries of all kinds.

The bill, which cleared Congress Thursday night, includes a $28 million cut to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), appropriating the agency at $237.8 million for FY2011. IMLS has 30 days to determine how they will administer these cuts.

The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program – the only federal program exclusively for school libraries – was absent from the bill text. The program was last appropriated at $19.1 million in FY2010. By not designating an appropriation for the remainder of FY2011 in this bill, Congress gave authority to the Department of Education to determine funds for school libraries. The Department of Education also has 30 days from the date of enactment of H.R. 1473 to submit to Congress an operating plan for school libraries.

“These cuts in funding hurt people throughout the United States who depend on libraries,” American Library Association (ALA) President Roberta Stevens said.

“We are putting our nation at a disadvantage as we compete in a world that realizes and values the importance of being educated and informed.”

As the FY2012 budget debate proceeds, the ALA calls on Congress to restore support for libraries, which serve the American public now more than ever with job hunting and career development. In our schools, libraries provide students with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in the Digital Age.

Monday, April 18, 2011

State Support for Library Services Declining

Washington, DC—Many State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) are reporting steep and sudden declines in state revenues for library services, according to a report released today by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The majority of states reported reductions, with six states reporting losses of greater than 15 percent in one year. Overall, 51 SLAAs collected $34 million less in state revenue in FY 2009 than they did in FY 2008. During the same period, SLAAs lost 227 full-time employees, a one-year decrease of 6.7 percent.

SLAAs play an important role in planning and evaluating library services in the states. While the range of services each SLAA provides differs state by state, all are tasked with administering the IMLS Grants to States program, which helps libraries embrace technology, serve underserved populations, and develop new service models.

“State Library Administrative Agencies are part of the educational and economic fabric of the nation,” said Susan Hildreth, director of IMLS. “SLAAs assess needs for library services in the state and support a wide range of programs that support the nation's libraries as they help people get work, pursue their education, and strengthen the civic life of communities everywhere. It is important for us to track and report about the health of these essential state agencies.”


Monday, April 11, 2011

A Possible Path for Regional Library Development in Texas

As it stands now, the Texas Library System comprised of 10 geographically-based Systems is financially unsustainable, even if fully funded. With the state budget now under consideration, funding will be reduced by more than half for fiscal year 2012 (beginning in September 2011) and will fail entirely by fiscal year 2013 (beginning in September 2012).

The Systems are a major channel for Texas libraries and librarians to receive state- and federal-funded continuing education, technology assistance, and general consulting assistance. As regional entities, they can negotiate consortium agreements and group discounts to help reduce costs for individual libraries. At NTLP we strongly believe that this regional library development builds stronger libraries which in turn builds stronger and better-educated Texas communities.

Adam Wright, Executive Director of North Texas Library Partners, and Pat Tuohy, Executive Director of the Central Texas Library System, Inc., have suggested a path that the Texas State Library could take with regard to regional library development in Texas. This is just one suggestion of several which could be put forth. We hope that it will begin the frank discussion on what needs to be done with the Systems program.

Our plan allows for the basic structure of geographically-based Systems to remain intact while drastically reducing administrative overhead. Member libraries could continue to receive regional library development services while retaining membership in the Systems they are familiar with. The potential alternative, no regional library development in Texas, is unacceptable for a state of this size.

If you support our plan, or if you have a plan of your own, or if you just want to express concern about losing regional library development in the state of Texas, please contact the commissioners of the Texas State Library.

The Two-Systems Solution (plan offered by NTLP and CTLS, Inc.)
More about the current Texas State Library System [map]
Contact information for TSLAC and the TSLAC Commissioners
Read TLA's Overview of the impact of the proposed Texas state budget on libraries. (Systems are affected under "The Loss of Federal Funds")

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Kansas State Librarian Goes Eyeball to Eyeball with OverDrive in Contract Talks

Kansas State Librarian Goes Eyeball to Eyeball with OverDrive in Contract Talks

If you are part of an Overdrive consortium or plan to pursue Overdrive - this article is a warning. Do we get content purchased, get us in the door, and then raise our fees to high and basically hold our libraries' content hostage??

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

National DBTAC Launches Accessible Technology Web Site!

The Accessible Technology Web Site, developed as a national project
for the Disability & Business Technical Assistance Centers across the
country, is now live and ready for public use. The Web Site is
"" and its purpose is to build a partnership
between the disability and business communities and to promote full
and unrestricted participation in society for persons with
disabilities through the promotion of technology that is accessible
to all. To access this Web Site, go

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Losing Stat Abstract??

Taken from GovDocs Archive - FYI
Dear Folks,

I couldn't take the uncertainty anymore so I called the Census Bureau
and spoke to Ian O'Brien who's the Chief of the Statistical Compendia
Branch. He said that the 2012 budget doesn't include funding for his
branch, which would mean the elimination of not only the Statistical
Abstract, but all titles produced by that branch (State and
Metropolitan Area Data Book, County and City Data Book, etc.). No
new editions would be produced in print or online.

I asked if there was any hope of changing this and he said that
there's always a chance that Congress could be convinced to continue
funding for the program. He said those who would like to save the
Statistical Compendia Branch could write to their Senators and
Representatives. I'm guessing this would go for the Federal
Financial Statistics Program as well.

So, start writing your letters and encourage others to do the same.
Jim Jacobs
data services librarian, emeritus
university of california san diego

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Merged University Press Group

For Libraries, Merged University Press Group Becomes Big Player in E-Book SalesMarch 10, 2011, 4:50 pm

By Jennifer Howard
The list of joint nonprofit ventures angling to sell university-press electronic books to libraries just got shorter. Two of the leading contenders, Project MUSE Editions and the University Press E-Book Consortium, or UPEC, announced today that they will join forces “to collect, host, and market scholarly e-book collections to the library marketplace.”

The five presses involved in planning UPEC—the University of Nebraska Press, New York University Press, the University of Pennsylvania Press, Rutgers University Press, and Temple University Press—had put out a request for proposals for potential partners, and Project MUSE was the winner.

The resulting partnership, called the University Press Content Consortium, or UPCC, will make its debut in January 2012, says the announcement, with preselling to take place this fall. The consortium will market collections of new and backlist scholarly monographs to libraries, with what it calls “minimal DRM,” or digital-rights management. It will not sell titles individually.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

House votes to stop NPR funding -

House votes to stop NPR funding - "House votes to stop NPR fundingBy the CNN Wire StaffMarch 17, 2011 3:30 p.m. EDT"

Washington (CNN) -- The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that would bar federal funding for National Public Radio -- a longtime target of conservatives irritated by what they consider the outlet's liberal bias.

The bill passed 228-192 in a sharply partisan vote. Most Republicans backed the measure while every Democrat opposed it.

While the measure was expected to pass the GOP-controlled House, it is believed to have little chance of clearing the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The move to strip funding comes after a conservative activist secretly taped a NPR fundraising executive criticizing Tea Party supporters and saying public radio would be better off without federal money.

On Tuesday, the House voted to cut $50 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps support NPR. That measure was part of a larger bill to keep the government running for the next three weeks.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Library Snapshot Day

Free webinar provides info on how to implement Library Snapshot Day

The Committee on Library Advocacy will present a free webinar on Library Snapshot Day from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. CST on Thursday, March 17, 2011.

Library Snapshot Day is an event that provides library staff a simple means to show the value of the library by capturing what happens in a single day in all types of libraries, across a state, community, or even in a single library. Learn how to implement this event, as well as how to maximize photos, statistics and stories to make the case to decision-makers.

Founder of the initiative, Peggy Cadigan, Associate State Librarian for Innovation & Communication, New Jersey State Library and Robert E. Banks, Deputy Director, Topeka & Shawnee County (KS) Library will present the session. The webinar is co-sponsored by the ALA Chapter Relations Office and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

Registration is mandatory. Visit to sign up today.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

HCOD, eBook User Bill of Rights and Math | SarahGlassmeyer(dot)com

HCOD, eBook User Bill of Rights and Math | SarahGlassmeyer(dot)com: "SUMMARY: U.S. Libraries circulate about 2 billion items per year. This means each person that has a library card averages about 13 checkouts a year. Given that the average price of a book is about $20 (low estimate), that means the value of materials circulated by libraries is 45 Billion dollars or $270 to each borrower.
If each borrower changed one checkout to purchase – $3,750,063,240
If each borrower bought one eBook at $6.00 – Publishers would get $1,001,352,000."

The ebook saga continues........

HarperCollins, OverDrive Respond as 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Debate Heats UpEmail Print | Reprint/License | Subscription | RSS |
Share | |
By Josh Hadro and Francine Fialkoff Mar 1, 2011

In the wake of sustained criticism following HarperCollins's decision to limit to 26 the number of times an ebook can be lent—as first reported by LJ on Friday—both OverDrive and Harper took steps to repair the damage.

Today OverDrive released a statement on its Digital Library blog indicating that "[u]ntil we have time to review the effect of these new terms with our library partners, HarperCollins eBooks will not be listed in our Library Marketplace." Instead, librarians "will be able to review and order HarperCollins eBooks from a separated catalog."

OverDrive CEO Steve Potash directly tackled librarians' criticism that the company "failed to stand up for you and your readers," defending his company's role in moving ebooks and e-audio into libraries, in supporting the EPUB standard, and in developing mobile apps for library ebooks.

Potash also pointed out that he has been working with librarians for ten years now to make ebooks accessible in public libraries and that he will "continue to innovate, invest, and advocate for libraries so readers will have the best options for accessing digital books, anywhere and everywhere."

HarperCollins responds
After stating on Twitter that the company is "reading your posts & listening to our authors," HarperCollins has followed up with a statement of its own (reproduced below), expanding on the brief remarks initially provided to LJ. The letter contends that HarperCollins's previous policy of "selling e-books to libraries in perpetuity, if left unchanged, would undermine the emerging e-book eco-system, hurt the growing e-book channel, place additional pressure on physical bookstores, and in the end lead to a decrease in book sales and royalties paid to authors."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What to Expect When You’re Digitizing: A Primer for the Solo Digital Librarian

What to Expect When You’re Digitizing: A Primer for the Solo Digital Librarianby Jane Monson
With creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to reach out for help, you can be well on your way to launching your digital collections within a year—even if you are a ‘lone wolf’ digital librarian. Starting a digitization program can be a daunting prospect for any library, whether it is of the large, well-funded variety or the small, shoestring-budget kind. The former may have the luxury of costly commercial software, dedicated programmers, and multiple librarians of various specializations, all of which can smooth the process. But what if these things are out of your reach? What if you are a “lone wolf” digital librarian—project manager, collection developer, metadata creator, and web designer, all rolled into one—with a limited budget to boot? You may fear you are doomed to spend years toiling away with little to show for yourself. However, with creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to reach out for help, you can be well on your way to launching your digital collections within a year—despite unforeseen roadblocks that you may encounter along the way.
My own experience as a new librarian has centered upon grappling with these issues. In graduate school, I had the opportunity to work in the digital services department of a library within a major academic research institution. There I received mentoring from a team of librarians experienced in digitization and was able to get my feet wet planning and executing projects for the school’s already-established digital library. This afforded me an excellent, if rather one-sided, view of the digital library world. Upon graduation, I accepted a position as digital projects librarian at Truman State University, a small public liberal arts university in Kirksville, Mo. I was tasked with kick-starting the library’s digitization efforts, beginning with the creation of an online repository of unique and rare materials from Special Collections. While well-prepared in theory, I slowly began to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the task and unexpected obstacles that I encountered. As the project’s completion was pushed further into the future, it sometimes seemed as if it might never get off the ground.

One year later, the digital library is still under development. But significant progress has been made, and the light at the end of the tunnel is clearly visible. What seemed like major hurdles turned out to be surmountable and resulted in learning lessons that may be helpful for other librarians who find themselves in a similar position, whether or not they have previous experience with digitization.

Lesson 1: Accept Your Limitations -

Keep reading - this is a great article to discover what is really needed for digitization.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Schedule for Library Supporters Conference

The 3rd Annual North Texas Conference for Library Supporters is less than two weeks away!

The schedule - plus business cards of our sponsors, exhibitors and some of the session leaders -can be viewed at

The committee chose to change the format up this year. We've got a keynote session, a lunch program and a closing session. Between each of those 1-hour programs will be 1-hour break-out sessions. Naturally, there'll be plenty of time and encouragement for networking with one another and with the exhibitors while enjoying the tasty refreshments made by the Decatur Civic Center's on-site chef!

We're grateful for SYNG grant funding which has enabled us to develop and offer this collection of programs sure to appeal to library supporters.

Keynote Address: Attracting Media Attention
Jeff Crilley, Emmy-Award Winning TV Reporter & Founder of Real News Public Relations

Mark Twain Murder Mystery Lunch featuring Alan Kitty as Mark Twain

Closing Session:
  • How Secure Is Your Library’s Future? An Overview of Current & Coming Challenges
such as Technology & Related Developments, Management by Non-Taxing Entities, The Library Stereotype, the Economy - and more

  • Helping Your Community Library When State Funding Is Being Reconsidered
    Panel of Library Directors
  • Everything & then some…Organizing & Operating a 501(c)(3)
    Rebecca M. DaVee, CPA
  • Libraries & the Law: How (& When) to Keep the Records, Doors & Books Open
    Cory D. Halliburton, JD
  • Support Groups: Advantages, Benefits, Gains
    Kay Parker Clark
  • Creating Effective, Balanced Boards
    Cecil Carter
  • Champagne Accounting on a Beer Budget
    Walter Hatter, CPA
  • Tips from the Perspectives of City & County Administrators & Elected Officials
  • Recruiting, Retaining & Renovating Friends Groups
    Linda Couser Barnette

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Newspapermap - All onlinenewspapers in the world

Newspapermap - All onlinenewspapers in the world

Look at this site - it allows you to select newspapers from around the site.

Fit Libraries Are Future-Proof | American Libraries Magazine

Fit Libraries Are Future-Proof | American Libraries Magazine

This article has really good ideas to get our libraries "fit". With the current economic impact on libraries - we need to start taking action on strengthening our libraries - with less and less funds. Ouch

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two North Texas Library Friends Groups Recognized by ALTAFF

Congratulations to two library Friends groups in our neighboring Northeast Texas Library System (NETLS) area! Both received national recognition during the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) Gala Author Tea during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in San Diego last week.

Friends of the Ennis Public Library was recognized for creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff, Trustees and/or advisory committee; recognition of the Friends group; and promotion of the Friends group to the community during National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 17-23, 2010. The Friends of the Rains County Public Library was recognized with honorable mention at the event.

The news was announced Friday by American Libraries, the magazine of the ALA. Read what all they did to earn such recognition:

Virtual Texas and Second Life

Virtual Texas will open soon with a live tour of Antiquity, Texas (a simulated environment in Second Life) on:

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
Time: 6-8pm SLT

Virtual Texas, an exhibit at the Community Virtual Library on Info Island, is sponsored by the Texas Library Association SL Community Group.
Come explore virtual resources about Texas and a replica of the Alamo, the Texas Capitol, and other Texas landmarks.
The tour will begin at the exhibit (SLurl below) and end with a dance on Antiquity, Texas.

A second tour is planned for Sunday, Mar. 6, 2011
Time: 2-4pm SLT

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: Library e-books easier, but still hassle  |

Review: Library e-books easier, but still hassle |

I can relate - I received an e-reader for Christmas and still don't have a library book on it that I can access. I have emailed Pandigital and Overdrive for help - with no luck!!

Free Ebook sites

See the list of websites where you may download eBooks for free. Many of these sites can also be used for Nooks, Kobo and Sony Readers, as well as simply reading on your PC. There are several different types of formats available, such as: ePub, PDF, HTML, Mobipocket, and Txt. You will need to check to see if your device can read the particular format.

This article lists several of the free sites.

Top Ten Reviews reviews seven free sites. has a blog post listing the twenty best websites for free e-books. The blog also added another 16 extra listings. The post was updated about a year ago and a second set of websites can be found here.

Here is a partial list of the sites where you can download free e-books, with an informational quote from each website.

“Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 33,000 free eBooks to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android or other portable device. “
“ is the Internet’s #1 online source for free eBook downloads, eBook resources and eBook authors.”
“ is a free e-books site where you can download free books totally free.”

Claims to have thousands of free eBooks, but only about 100 or so are listed. Can be used on iPad, iPhone, Android, NOOK, and PC.

“There are more than 29,000 eBooks available here and they're all free!”

“Listing over 900,000 free books on the Web”
Look on the left under Special Features/Free E-Book collections. “Free classics and out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books, as well as limited-time free promotional e-books available for Kindle.”
“Discover Great E-books from Indie authors and publishers.”
299 titles in multiple formats.
“The Internet Archive Text Archive contains a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books.”
“Read nearly 3 million free eBooks and hundreds of thousands of titles that are ready for purchase; you can read all of your favorite books using just about any device with an Internet connection. You can read Google eBooks on the Web, with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and supported eReaders.. You can't use your Kindle to read any eBooks you buy from Google.”

Shared per listserv - thanks - W. 11th & Bluff, the official blog of the Adult Services Department at Carnegie-Stout Public Library, Dubuque, Iowa.

News: The Invisible Computer Lab - Inside Higher Ed

News: The Invisible Computer Lab - Inside Higher Ed: "The Invisible Computer Lab
January 20, 2011
In the future, campus computer labs will be invisible, personal computers will be shapeshifters, and colleges will have to spend much less to make sure students have access to the software they need for certain courses.
This according to technology officials at several colleges that have recently deployed “virtual computing labs” — Web-based hubs where students can go to use sophisticated programs from their personal computers without having to buy and install expensive software, or slog to a campus lab and pray for a vacant workstation."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What librarians do | Voices for the Library

What librarians do Voices for the Library:
What librarians do
Borrowing books can and does help people transform their lives, but so do/does:

- Computer classes for people who don’t know how to word process, search for jobs online, use the internet safely and securely
- Recreational activities such as family history research
- Book groups – as a leisure activity, or an activity to support mental health and wellbeing, or rehabilitation
- Summer Reading Programs to help children improve their reading skills

See article for entire list. We need to keep building and changing this list as our daily job responsibilities change:
- Help download books to ereaders
- Host conversational English classes
- Provide Universal Access

If we as librarians can't articulate what we do.......who can?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Robots that help with paralysis - amazing!

From Science Life BlogIn Iron Man, Tony Stark engineers himself a robotic suit of armor that serves two purposes, fighting against the terrorists who took him captive while keeping pieces of shrapnel from puncturing his heart. Based on a new study from a University of Chicago neuroscience laboratory, wearable robots like Iron Man’s suit may also serve a dual purpose for a different type of user: quadriplegic patients.

Scientists, in an effort worthy of comic books, have successfully developed brain-machine interfaces that allow people to move computer cursors and prosthetic arms with their thoughts alone. When paralysis occurs due to a spinal cord injury or neurological disease, signals from the brain fail to reach the muscles of the body. But the brain electrical activity normally responsible for movement remains intact, and brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) seek to translate that information into the operation of an external device. One such BMI, called BrainGate, was successfully tested in quadriplegic patients 4 years ago.

The BrainGate™ Co. is a privately-held firm focused on the advancement of the BrainGate™ Neural Interface System. The Company owns the Intellectual property of the BrainGate™ system as well as new technology being developed by the BrainGate company. In addition, the Company also owns the intellectual property of Cyberkinetics which it purchased in April 2009.

The goals of the BrainGate™ Company is to create technology that will allow severely disabled individuals—including those with traumatic spinal cord injury and loss of limbs—to communicate and control common every-day functions literally through thought.

However, while those patients were able to hit various computer targets and even type e-mails with their thoughts, their control of the cursor was somewhat shaky. When a person moves a computer cursor the old-fashioned way - with their hand on a mouse - information moves in two directions. Signals from the brain travel to the hand directing the movement, and sensory feedback goes back to the brain reporting on the movement’s success, both from the eyes tracking the cursor and from the location and movement of the hand in space. This latter sense, called proprioception or kinesthetic feedback, was not present in BrainGate trials; the patients’ had only visual feedback to help adjust their movement.

“In the early days when we were doing this, we didn’t even consider sensory feedback as an important component of the system,” said Nicholas Hatsopoulos, professor and chair of computational neuroscience at the University of Chicago. “We really thought it was just one-way: signals were coming from the brain, and then out to control the limb. It’s only more recently that the community has really realized that there is this loop with feedback coming back.”

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Digital Library Race, and Playing Catch-Up -

A Digital Library Race, and Playing Catch-Up - "AMERICA stood at the forefront of the public library movement in 1731, when Benjamin Franklin founded the Library Company of Philadelphia, our first successful lending library.

Looking back on the project decades later, Franklin wrote in his autobiography that the growth of lending libraries had played a role not only in educating but also in democratizing American society.

“These Libraries,” he wrote, “have improv’d the general Conversation of the Americans, made the common Tradesmen & Farmers as intelligent as most Gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed to some degree to the Stand so generally made throughout the Colonies in Defence of their Privileges.”"

Published: January 8, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Selling a Book by Its Cover -

Selling a Book by Its Cover - "IT took Thatcher Wine a year to amass 2,000 well-preserved white vellum and cream-colored leatherbound books for a “gentleman’s library” in the Northern California estate of a private equity manager. Perfectly matched sets of books bound in antique vellum, a pale leather made from goat or sheep skin, are an elusive quarry, especially if they all have to be in English, said Mr. Wine, a former Internet entrepreneur who now creates custom book collections and decorative “book solutions,” as he puts it, in his Boulder, Colo., warehouse."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Taiwan Libraries to Offer 11,000 Titles for E-readers

Note - this article was in PC Magazine. E-reader uses are exploding worldwide. Libraries really need to be paying attention. Ebooks are not just another format option, our users are beginning to demand that we offer ebooks and we teach them how to access them.

By Ralph Jennings, IDG News Jan 5, 2011 5:20 am

Taiwan's semi-governmental technology research arm plans to offer about 11,000 public library books for download to e-readers in 2012, potentially bringing those titles to the entire Chinese-literate world, it announced Wednesday.

Users of e-readers that can display documents in the Epub format will be able to join Taiwan's 500 participating libraries online to borrow titles.

"It's not related to location, as long as you're a library member with an account," said Chi Chao-yin, deputy director of the Industrial Technology Research Institute's electronics division. "People from mainland China and foreigners would be able to borrow if they apply for memberships."

The 11,000 titles are those that the 500 participating libraries have offered into the pool.

The number of Chinese-language titles available is expected to climb as high as 120,000 if much larger mainland China joins the scheme later, following informal talks now with Taiwan. Smartphones and tablet computers may also be able to download the borrowed books.

The Taiwanese system will use DRM (digital rights management) technology to limit who can read the borrowed books. Some loan periods will be limited to 14 days, and the number of readers per book will also be limited, according to a research institute representative.

A particularly aggressive library in Taichung, Taiwan, already expects as many as 260,000 people to download its titles.

Libraries in English-speaking countries such as the U.S. now offer books for e-readers, Chi said, but Taiwan's libraries are more united in the effort.

Taiwan began linking libraries to e-readers in July, as the devices gained popularity and fell in price. Manufacturers of e-readers are still cutting prices while making them lighter and more portable.

The Taiwanese downloadable library project will be hosted on cloud computing services, the research institute said.

E-reader library access follows a five-year NT$50 billion (US$1.67 billion) plan to bring information technology, including e-readers, into Taiwanese classrooms from 2010.

Bringing libraries to e-readers is part of the Taiwan research institute's longer-term plan to design more modern e-reading tools, including some with near-paper quality screens, by building on its legacy of contract work for foreign designers.

Taiwan's e-reader industry, based largely on contracts today, was worth NT$49.3 billion last year.