Sunday, December 09, 2007

500th Book on LibraryThing

I just added book number 500 to my LibraryThing account! The book was Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz' A Guide to Jewish Prayer.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Blue Sky Conversation: Snippets & Thoughts

Helene Blowers and Michael Casey

A session of reflecting...
Annette Webb: Interesting Snippets
"Online, things can live forever, getting discovered by new audiences years after they originally launched." PSFK, Nov. 2006.
"60% of brides are creating personalised web pages related to their weddings." Jan. 19, 07 Conde Nast via Red Herring. We can engage people in celebrating and planning major events.
"Consumers are beginning in a very real sense to won our brands and participate in their creation... We need to learn to begin to let go." AG Lafley, CEO and Chairman of P&G, Oct. 06 Let our users use our library brand in an amazing way.
"Most people over 30 have a bit of difficulty grasping the concept of why you'd want a digital version of yourself online." NY Times, Dec. 10, 2006. Virtual worlds... They are them whether they are here in RL or online?
"We talked about having our 5-year-class reunion... Most people I asked weren't interested because they used sites like MySpace to stay in touch with anyone they really wanted to keep up with."
"Second Life deserves credit as a world of hypotheticals and thought experiments... a petri dish for innovations that may help people in real life" The Economist, Sept. 28, 06 PLCMC teens built a machine to pay their fees in SL... Linden $ get transferred to an avatar librarian...
"The Internet is just the world passing notes in a classroom" - Jon Stewart Is it? It's broadcasting...
"The generation that grew up on video games is blurring the lines between games and real life" Pierre Omidyar, eBay Chairman, May 2006 We don't talk enough about gaming for adults, dealing with health and memory issues. Learning is an addiction we feed in libraries, and games really feed into that.
"One of the most important things you learn from the Internet is that there is no "them" out there. It's just an awful lot of "us"... Douglas Adams, Aug. 29, 99
"They key is to produce something that both pulls people together and gives them something to do... I don't have to control the conversation to benefit from their interest. Henry Jenkins, author of "Convergence Culture", and Comparative Media Studies program director at MIT. Google Open Social Aspect... APIs for social networking; you can now move from one social network to another without recreating your presence.. Reduces the silos creating by social networks.
"Blogs are not necessarily important individually, but in aggregate they are massively powerful. The "blogosphere" pulls together what millions of talented people around the world are discovering and thinking.. " Ross Dawson, Jan. 17, 07
"Groups fo friends crave connectedness and they achieve it by swapping photos, music, and video clips, immersing themselves is a shared chronicle of daily life. Business Week, Dec. 4, 06

Lots more slides... find more at Book:
Flickr... check out or for links to these slides.

20-25% of searches done on Google search day are NEW. Wikipedia now accounts for a staggering one out of every 200 page views.
ERic Schmidt, Google... anarchy, Google

LIS Professionals for 2020

Dr. Samantha Hastings:
Hot new technologies
Iris scanning
ThinSight: prototype that allows you to feel what's on the screen, 3-D. applications for blind and children.
Robots as librarians. Already a reality in a French library
Universal communicators. You don't have to be tied to any physical location to get what you need.
Quantum computers. process 1TB in <30 sec. Implicatons for tagging.
3-D images projected from a computer. Changes the way we store information.
Nanotechnology. Buckyball. Multi-sided carbon piece that bounces. Imprint whole libraries on a Buckyball and send it wherever we choose.

Dr. Jinmook Kim:
Past, Present, Future
"If you want a future, darling, why don't you get a past?" (Cole Porter)
20th Century. 19050-70: working with automation
1967 MARC
*1981 IBM PC
*Online catalogs
*1991 WWW
Client /server systems
1995 National digital library program
2000 MARC21, Dublin Core

1. Efficiency of internal operation
2. Access to local library services 80s
3. Access to resources outside the library 90s
4. Interoperability of information systems 21st century
5. ?

Advances in tech: Storage devices (nanotech). Ubiquitous computing. Web2.0...
Managing dynamic content in various formats: text, audio, video, image. Personalized, customized information
From ownership to access: e.g. types of media, file formats
Interoperability: new metadata standards for digital content(e.g. Dublin Core, MARC21, MARCXML). Protocols for data exchange (OAI, OAI-PMH)
Interactivity & personalization/customiziation: Web2.0

Interactive, collaborative portable IR systems
? Would people read, listen or view info from computer screens, instead of paper or traditional audio or video playing devices?

Shawn Carraway
Patrons in 2020 in Wireless Comm...
Who are they now? Millenials. Born between 85 and 95. For them, there have always been home computers; an Internet; wireless yet always connected. Library catalogs have always been automated, databases, the best centers for computer tech and access to good software.
Beloit College Mindset List
Who will they be in 2020
They won't need a computer -- everything will be connected. Location aware mobile devices will be ubiquitous. Everything will be personalized and everything will be mixed. Richard McManus at Read/Write Web. This age group is not "passive"; watching TV is passive. Like interactivity
What will they want from us?
A fast "everything, anywhere" search. Transparent access to that information. (Copyright will be a big issue in the next 10 years.) AI searching - whatever is happening around you, the library is there-- articles, information, book recommendations. Integration of resources into existing search engines.
Shawn doesn't use books in class; requires them to use online

Dr. Jeff Naidoo
The Right Brain of Librarianship Creative Connections and Innovation. (Techno feely)
A Whole New Mind, by Dan Pink
Right Brain vs Left Brain. Two different hemispheres; two different ways of thinking.

How Dominant is your Right Brain? (I appear to be right brained)
Automation. John Henry. Computers can nearly beat Gasparion (chess player sp?). Will Lawyers survive?
Our left brain has made us rich. Our lives are shaped by abundance. The information age has produced abundance, but has also changed aesthetics, etc. The conceptual age is built on the right brain. High concept, high touch. The ability to detect patterns and opportunities to come up with inventions the world didn't know it was missing. Tocu the capacity to empathize to understand the subtleties of human interaction to find joy in one's self to elicit in others. To stretch beyond what we know.

Librarianship in 2020... We have to move from a traditional left-brain approach to one that is more right-brained oriented. We need to employ more creativity to keep us relevant and meet the needs of a "web-raised" user population. Libraries need to demonstrate we can offer value enhanced services.

Random, creative, intuitive, etc... (University of Rochester - used students to design library space)
Innovation and Creativity Tips:
Get Rid of the Fear of Failure.
Listen Outside of Libraries
Cross the Generations
Follow Well
Seek Experiences
Blog Both Ways (learn and teach at the same time)
Try Something new Every Day
Lead and Share
Don't just criticize
Stay Positive
Have a Vision
Work for the customer in. Really put the customer first.

And what about our attitudes?
Our communities will demand that we stay relevant. If we don't provide it, someone else will.
Preparation, intuition, play, radiate, vision, disparity, question, flow, flexibility, patterns, values, trust, belief in yourself
Dr. Sam: No one assumed that libraries are challenged or will go away.
What about the library mission to preserve the past? How does this affect that mission, or does it?
DanceDance Revolution: West VA just adopted it as a solution for obesity in the schools.
Dr. Jimnook: Libraries will continue to provide content. Good content. Validated, authenticated content

Slides from this presentation will be available on the USC-SLIS website.

?Software that allows the use of multiple mice on one PC for collaborative working?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Branching out in Library Automation: Evergreen

PINES: Public Information Network for Electronic Services. Largest state east of the Mississippi. Single cluster of servers with a single system. Single patron database and union catalog; the same library card can be used throughout the system. PINES began as a response to Y2K. Metro areas have hesitated to join PINES for fear they would have nothing left on the shelves. However, this has proved not to be the case; borrowing and lending tend to reflect the library's community base.

How is PINES unique?
Users may request materials delivered from any PINES library t local library at no charge. New books protected from intra-PINES loans for 6 months. In FY07, more than 480,000 loans compared to 6000 in FY00. Libraries agree to a common set of policies; common fine structures. Fines and fees can be paid at any PINES library. Overdues processed centrally. Policies are determined by an executive committee, made up of 9 representatives-- all size library.

Benefits for users:
One easy to use interface. Local library identity maintained in large consortium. Users have dramatically increased access to statewide combined library collections. Users have the same experience regardless of the library.

Benefits for libraries:
PINES is centrally administered. Significant ILS costs paid by the state. Regional training, convenient to member libraries and staffs. Centralized helpdesk and support. Centralized overdues processing. Cataloging uses OCLC.

Outsources delivery to a courier service.

Cost benefit of PINES:
Estimate to install stand-alone ILS in all 47 PINES libraries: $15M
Annual maintenance: $5M
PINES annual operations: $1.6M (about $1 per patron). Includes courier service, overdues outsourcing, maintenance, helpdesk, (not telecommunications, which is supplied by the state)

Crossroads for PINES
Initial 5-year software contract for PINES ended June 2005
2003-04: comprehensive survey of the library automation marketplace. Is the software driving the policy/procedure or vv? Felt there was not an ILS that was really capable of providing the services PINES required.

Technical staff felt they could write software that would do exactly what the libraries wanted. Hundreds of librarians in focus groups around the state:
Enterprise class relational database; scalable and compliant with standards; ease of use for customers; flexible and reliable; data security; stats and reports to correspond to annal reporting requirements

ILS developed in a fully open source environment
Software development began in June 2004, with 4 developers.
All PINES libraries migrated to Evergreen software on 9/5/06. All libraries migrated at the same time.
Evergreen debuted with online catalog, circulation, cataloging and reports.

Evergreen features:
Search capabilities similar to commercials. Live circ data in OPAC. Google-like spell checking and search suggestions. Enhanced content. Scalable. Secure. Customers can manage their own accounts. Works with screen readers like Jaws. Virtual book bags that can be created, managed, shared by user, including RSS feed for updating.
Local flexibility to define authorizations by login. Surveys provide flexibility to collect information locally or PINES wide. Surveys can be used by local libraries. Use of buckets (virtual containers) to allow batch changes. Simplified merging of bibliographic records.
OPAC view in the staff client. Use of tabs for ease of transition between tasks. Ability to search any field in the patron record. Truly randomized holds which work in a tiered structure.

Core Technologies
Database: Postgresql
Language: C++ and Perl
Server: Apache
Jabber (IM client which moves the request through the system)

Have moved server farms to a datacenter (the same one Google uses for their East coast servers) Cost of server farm, firewalls, etc. $300,000

Cost-effective (Linux)
Reliable - designed to run in a clustered environment
Flexible - staff client is cross platform to include Linux, Windows, Mac

Where do we go from here?
Develop a children's web-based catalog
Complete Spanish translation for the OPAC
French/Canadian version completed
More self-service options, including online bill pay
Enhanced links with GALILEO (state-wide database portal)
Migration of 5 library systems waiting to become PINES members
Wok with partners on protocols to share information with other automation systems (Open NCIP)
Partnership with U.Rochester - eXtensible catalog project
Develop Acquisitions/Serials
Enhance social networking aspects of the catalog (user tagging, ratings, reviews, etc.)
Partnerships with libraries worldwide
Cooperative projects with university system libraries
Evergreen software foundation?

Evergreen Wiki - updated continually

British Columbia goes live on Evergreen next week.

Has a basic HTML version for screenreaders, phones, etc.
Shelfbrowser: browse shelves virtually
Can select font size; can be set through patron's account
Patrons wanted to have one set of buttons--- can use the browser buttons to navigate the catalog

Support is not available from Georgia for outside implementations. However, third party vendors have taken on that role. Customers have access to a helpdesk or beeper service 24/7.


Integrating Technology with Customer Focused Library Services

Charles Brown, Director, PLCMC

3rd largest public library in the US. $40M annual operating budget.

Expanding Minds: Early Literacy 2.0. iPod+Story Hour. Youth libraries each have iPods, loaded with 150 hours of music geared for children - parent checklists for readiness for kindergarten. Getting Ready to Read; Health & Wellness.
BookHive: your guide to children's literature and books. ages 3-12
Guys Read! for middle school boys. NBA kickoff. Community professionals work with guys to encourage reading
Summer reading: Wee Read, birth - pre-schoolers. Involved the whole family in reading
Teen Summer eading: YouNeverKnow - rising 6-12 graders
24 locations; 5 in african american populations
Freedom Regional Library: media center for high school and public library. includes 21 staff adn 2 technology centers

Imaginon partnered with children's theatre of charlotte to create this.
Library Loft is the teen area at Imaginon. 12-18. Parents and younger kids are not allowed to enter. Teen read week: 1100 teens participated. Podcasts created by adn for teens. has an iTunes music store. Studio i @ Imaginon created the media for the teen reading program.

Story Place: intereactive digital library for children.

Empowering Individuals. Nearly 1000 public access computers. More than 1,029,000 in-library computer users in FY05. Access to Adaptive Technologies in the Virtual Vilage. Free computer classes, basic to advanced.
Trip to the Mouse Clinic. Exposes adult users to computer related opportunties.

Learning 2.0.
Everyone on the staff were involved, from cleaning staff to professional staff.
Learning 2.0 for patrons: Ermeging technology. ebay for beginners; making money with craigslist, etc.

Adaptive Technology @ VV (Virtual Village) Most popular area of the main library.

Academic Spport: Live Homework Help - free with library card; connects students with online tutors; ThinkCOLLEGE; Summer Reading Progam

Instant Message Reference Service: Ask a Librarian

Enriching the Community

Gaming Zone:

Games + Learning Lab GL(squared) Video game play testers wanted.

Online Book Clubs: has been able to get authors involved as well.

Africn American Album:

PLCMC has their own printing press...

Novello festival of reading. Ishmael Beah Streamed via live feed to Teen Second Life. sharing privacy and trust in our networked world

Dinosaur conversations: are 2.0 technologies relevant to libraries? It's reality. Fosters and encourages staff to explore emerging technologies

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2007 SCLA Annual Conference

I'm blogging the SC Library Association's 2007 Annual Conference. The theme this year is Library 2.0: Taking South Carolina's Libraries to the People. 6th Recipient of the Diversity in Librarianship Scholarship is Annie Young Patrick. Two-time ALA Spectrum Scholar. Currently enrolled at USC's SLIS. In her statement, she said that if not for her hometown librarian and his guidance, she would still be back in her hometown.

David Goble, State Librarian, recorded an introduction to the speaker, as he couldn't be here. Keeping in spirit with the theme, the introduction has been posted to YouTube.

Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director (he's a Red Sox fan!) is the opening keynote speaker. Yes, he's a librarian, altho if you ask him, he'll say no, he's a chippendale, and ALA needed someone who looked good in a suit. Plug for ALA membership: for .30 a day, you can be his boss. Was the state librarian in MA for 10 years.

Six great challenges:
1. Can we really do anything about library funding? Fiels says we can, through (a) advocacy: libraries and citizens working together to achieve goals. New advocacy office has been established at ALA to help local advocates to meet local advocacy goals, by providing resources and support. Advocacy Institutes before each confeence to reach out to trustees, friends, etc., with a focus on practical courses, training, and so on. ALA's I Love Libraries website. (b) Tracking funding. We need to get a much better sense about what is really happening in a timely manner, rather than 2 years out. Workig iwth Gates Foundation, with a grant. (c) We need to make plans, and have those plans in place. Your vision will drive funding growth. (d) Assert our role in education, go head to head with educators and politicians. Libraries are the other half of the educational system. (e) Studies show that children in schools with libraries do a grade level better than those without. Also the impact of public and academic libraries. We need to get the work out.
2. What can we do to improve library services? Continue to attract the best and brightest to library schools. One of the problems is that we need people people... libraries are not just about books anymore. (b) Continue to have more opportunities for continuing education, to keep skill levels at peak. How to defend a budget is not taught at library sschool, but it's a needed skill. (c) We need to train more people. Of 15000, about 8000 are run by people without masters degrees. We need to provide these people with training. Working on a Library Technical Assistant certification for smaller public libraries, and later academic libraries. However, in schools, they do need a master degreed librarian. (d) Resource sharing is critical for libraries. (e) Recognize outstanding service, and acknowledge poor service. Need a national standard to measure this. How can we constructively bring pressure to bear where communities have inadequate library services?
3. How can we improve library salaries? We have to articulate the issue. We need to get the data needed to make the case, comparing our salaries with those in comparable careers. We need to provide this to the local libraries. This can be won at the local level. ALA is creating packets to assist libraries with arguing their cases. In amny instances our jobs are in line with high tech industry...
4. What are the things we can do to make a difference in our societies and our world? We need to serve ALL people. We can lead the way in diversity; we need to reflect our communities. We need to undertake new initiatives to work with library shools and employers. We need to support the 5th Amendment rights of the American people. A significant amount of library use involves research on sensitive issues, and we need to protect their right to do so. Copyright: we need to keep information free. Access to government info is critical. (e) We can lead the world. Globalization is beginning to catch up with us, and is continuing to intensify. We need to be bringing a vision of American librarianship out to the world. We take our library access for granted, whereas other nations don't have any kind of access. We also have a lot to learn from the rest of the world-- in Europe and other places, libraries are ahead of us.
5. What is the impact of the internet going to be on the Libraries we have today? Communication and information are changing rapidly. The collection is rapidly changing... adn now includes user contributed content, e-books, etc. New services: blogs, emails, rss feeds, Facebook, Flickr, etc. My Library pages for patrons. E-Govt will have an enormous impact. So how does this stuff get deployed? Community wikis, homework help wikis, reading club blogs, etc. How are we bringing the libraries out? E-government is making changes.... Fema forms could only be filled out on computers, and people need access to computers. Just the tip of the iceberg. Gaming: wide variety of issues.. Bringing teens in. Also as a way to do bibliographic instruction through games. Second Life. It's unclear at this point the impact of virtual realities. Our users are there, and we have to figure out what constitutes our meaningful presence, and how to deploy our resources. Digital divide still exists. The number of households with internet access has leveled off. Libraries have to fill the gap. The information safety net, where people who don't have access to technology will be able to get to it. Gates Foundation says libraries are at capacity, in bandwidth, physical space, number of computers. Most importantly, people are still at the heart of it all. We need librarians to update, respond, organize, to make these 2.0 resources actually viable.
6. Can libraries even survive? Given the forces against us (those who hate what libraries represent, officials who want to do away with taxes, mangement gurus who say we don't need libraries) we can't let go of the fact that they are not right. People still come to libraries for things computers can't provide-- social. A Library is an institution where a community creates a set of resources share among the community. It's been a perpetual motion machine, since the beginning with Ben Franklin.
In fact, our future is very bright. [Anecdote re: The Cary Library (Lexington, MA).] Things have never been easy, and we lose sight of that. It is a great and important trust. "Library visitors" would visit to determine what kinds of services were being provided. Caution: we can't take it for granted. We must be advocates. We didn't make the lbiraries, it was the community, and they trust us to preserve and enhance...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Struggles in SL... & a few triumphs, too

I've been spending lots of time in Second Life this month, preparing the virtual SC State Library for show and tell. This is work, folks! The push was on, and I needed to learn how to build prims and add scripts. The building process exercised a totally different part of my brain-- I just don't think in shapes, normally.

The experience has been a virtual rollercoaster of emotions. I spent time in sheer frustration, followed by amazement when I actually managed to produce an object, back to frustration with scripts, and elation when I realized I had learned a new skill.

I'm still a total noob. I have to think hard to send a friendship offer, or find a group. So things aren't coming all that easily yet. Fortunately, I've been working with another librarian who is more than willing to teach and share what he's learned. If nothing else, I've gained a new friend.

And when Nov. 1 is over, I will be devoting huge amounts of time to WOW... I want to learn how to fly at level 68!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Library Makes Award to Preserve Creative America

The Library of Congress will be preserving Second Life as part of its Digital Preservation Program:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Interactive media are highly complex and at high risk for loss as technologies rapidly become obsolete. The Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. Major activities will include developing basic standards for metadata and content representation and conducting a series of archiving case studies for early video games, electronic literature and Second Life, an interactive multiplayer game. Second Life content participants include Life to the Second Power, Democracy Island and the International Spaceflight Museum. Partners: University of Maryland, Stanford University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Linden Lab.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Originally uploaded by WoW Librarian
At last, Atzilut has made it to level 65. It's been a long haul; however, tonight, with the help of some dedicated guild members, she made it. In addition, Atzilut can now wear her first complete set of armor, made by Koden. And she obtained the Moonkin Headress... She was able to level in Burning Fortress, with the help of 3 guildies and an LFG.

Next.. leveling up the First Aid...

I really thought Cresenc (50) would catch up quickly, but having so little time to play does make a difference.

I have purposely made more time to play lately; life has been more challenging than usual, so I felt this was a necessity. At any rate, it's been fun!! And I won't deny that leveling is the most enticing challenge.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Table top gaming; graffiti blogs

Table top gaming should not be neglected as libraries move more toward incorporating gaming. Many bookstores already know this! Pokemon Days at our local Books-A-Million are packed with kids & PARENTS. How cool is that?? Our local Barnes & Noble encourages chess. And what about those restaurants that have those wooden peg games? The family interactions that occur around those games are priceless.

What is it about those kinds of games that literally engage people, that draw them in as active observers and participants? What kind of cerebral/neural impulses are firing? What would happen if the library environment is furtile with creative potential, welcoming discovery?

Many moons ago, I used to frequent a seafood restaurant near Folly Beach, SC, that encouraged customers to doodle and leave graffiti in spiral bound notebooks provided by the owners. There were stacks of notebooks filled with "Kilroy was here" type doodles, thousands of visitor comments, philosophical treatises, poetry, limericks, incredible art. Maybe we need "graffiti blogs" for our patrons? What would they say about our libraries and their services?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

second life

Wonderfully astute! Parallel worlds merge in this delightful youtube.

jill/txt » World of Warcraft

jill/txt » World of Warcraft I'm waiting for the publication of this anthology by MIT Press. Edited by two researchers from the University of Bergen, this is a scholarly work on various in-world and real-world aspects of World of Warcraft.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My New, Almost Screaming, Machine

Yesterday my youngest and I brought up my new improved desktop PC. Still tweaking the configuration, but I am jamming! Spent time on Second Life, and SL did not crash it: that's the ultimate test. I ran around IF in WoW with no lag. Soooo happy. I even "splurged" on an inexpensive but 2kewl box-- had to, b/c my cooler wouldn't fit in the old Gateway case. LOL.

I had inherited my youngest's Gateway, purchased in April 2001. Over the years, he replaced the power supply, upped the memory, replaced the cd drive, and generally grumped that the graphics card wouldn't handle Half-Life's graphics. (BTW, I have a very clear recollection of arguing the quality of the graphics card in the Gateway store... I wanted a better one.) When we purchased his laptop for college, he donated his old PC to me.

We kept the DemonBlue480 power supply, the cd/dvd drive, and the hard disk. We bought a NZXT Apollo case, ASUS A8V-XE chipset, ASUS Arctic Square CPU cooler, an AMD 64 bit 2.2G dual core processor, a gig of ram, and a HIS 1650Pro graphics card. Could it be tighter? Well, yeah... but it's a far cry from that Gateway SELECT 1000 CS. Next? A new monitor... he's loaned me his Samsung SyncMaster 226BW widescreen LCD panel until he goes back to college. I'm ruined now; have to save up for my own.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Did You Know 2.0

Are our libraries preparing to serve the next generation? Will our technology be able to meet their needs? Will we be able to support their personal devices? Hmmm. We need to begin planning now. How do we plan for something 15 years out?

Friday, April 20, 2007

CIL2007: Sessions I Attended

I gave up on onsite blogging of the conference, although I did take copious notes. There were problems with the network, and connectivity was patchy. Here's a list of the sessions I attended (and I attended all three keynotes):


  • Library 2.0: Building Communities, Connections & Strateties, by Ken Roberts, Chief Librarian, Hamilton

  • Pimp Your Firefox, by Jessamyn West

  • Mashups, Remixing Info, & Making Data Browsable, by Derek Willis and Karen Huffman

  • Millenials and the Library, by Marshall Breeding

  • Using Google & SEs to Expose Digital Collections, by Marshall Breeding

  • Social Bookmarking & Folksonomies, by Ellyssa Kroski & Robert Cagna

  • Presented Rhumba with Joomla

  • Dynamic Instructional Content: Library 2.0 on a Budget, by Chad Boeninger

  • Search Tools Using Controlled Vocabularies, by Herd, Koeneman, Doszkocs

  • Podcasting Possibilites for Library Instruction, by Rachael Clemons

  • Gaming and Learning, by Shu Liu and Tammy Allgood

  • Dine-Around with Second Lifers

  • InfoTubey Awards

  • The New Library Automation Landscape, by Marshall Breeding

  • Catalogs/OPACs for the Future, by Roy Tennant and Tim Spaulding

  • Building Libraries in Virtual Worlds, by Bell, Gullett, Czarnecki & Peters

  • Repository Essentials: From Soup to Nuts, by Roy Tennant

  • Production to Portal: Info Delivery Channels, by Marjorie M.K. Hlava

For just about every session I went to, there was another one I couldn't attend. But, so it goes, at any conference. Things are going to keep filtering through, so I'll be coming back to talk about different things in the next week. I'm also heading off for E-Rate Camp next week...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Learning and Gaming Earmarked Tuesday's Sessions

Another full day... Chad Boeninger, author of The Biz Wiki, talked about using free and open source tools to develop and maintain library instruction programs. He uses wikis and blogs in place of handouts. He can quickly add answers to students' questions, keeping the material fresh and up-to-date. PHPESP is an alternative to SurveyMonkey. He uses polls during class to encourage participation: Meebo widget is one example, and the WordPress poll is another. He demonstrated CamStudio, a free screen recording software that I've been playing with lately. All in all, a good session!

Quite by accident I ended up in "Search Tools Using Controlled Vocabularies". I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation by Tamas Doszkocs from NLM. He demonstrated how the latest search engines use a combination of controlled vocabulary and natural language to produce "intelligent" queries. The PolyMeta Smart Search is really too cool. He also pointed to the NCSU Endeca search engine.

I also dropped in on "Podcasting Possibilities for Library Instruction". The presenter, Rachael Clemons, said it takes her around 15 hours to create a 6 minute podcast. Chad Boeninger also uses podcasting for library instruction; he said between September and January, one library tour podcast was downloaded over 700 times. That's a pretty good return on the time used to create one.

My last session of the day was "Gaming and Learning". Shi Liu presented the theoretical side of learning objects. The poor Internet connectivity impeded her presentation, as it did ours earlier. Tammy Allgood discussed the creation of two different library instruction games. The first was a board game that has been refined through four versions. They are currently working with version 1.0 of an online game, called "Quarantined: Axl Wise and the Information Outbreak". I wish there had been more time for this session. Again the internet connection prevented our seeing a demo of the game.

Timing is a major issue-- some sessions seem to fit quite well into the timeframe; others clearly do not. For example, the "Gaming and Learning" session should have been two different sessions. Squeezing them both into one period was a disservice to both the presenters and their material.

I ended the evening with dinner at the Urban Thai with about 18 Second Lifers, and then caught the InfoTubey awards.

Tao sets up for our session

Tao sets up for our session
Originally uploaded by WoW Librarian.
Look for the slides from our session on the Joomla in Libraries site. I ran into several people afterward who attended our session... it seems we did "okay". Thanks very much to all who attended. And thank you to Stephen Cohen ( and Ellyssa Kroski for moderating the session. Stephen visited the State Library's new site the first week it was up, and registered for an account. He also blogged about the site... It was great to finally meet him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CIL2007 Day 2

The conference opened today on a somber note, as the attendees observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the tragic and horrendous event at Virginia Tech yesterday.

Today's keynote speaker could not attend-- I was truly looking forward to her presentation on Gaming and Learning. However, Andy Carvin from NPR is presenting Using Social Media for Community Engagement.

Monday, April 16, 2007

CIL 2007

I'm at my first Computers in Libraries conference. We blew in on an intense wind... gales between 45 and 60 mph... and the energy there is manifesting at CIL as well. Tao, SCSL's web administrator and I are here to talk about using Joomla! as a content management system in libraries.

Today, I've seen another CMS, Django, in use at the Washington Post. It uses Python as its language, and runs on open source databases, etc. Its tagline is, "The Web framework for perfectionists with deadlines". An example:

Marshall Breeding is of course doing exciting things. One of Vanderbilt's projects has been providing the best access to their collections of television videos, which date back to 1968. He's developed an OpenWeb strategy that maximizes html content for Googlebots by using XML. He has used several Google tools to accomplish this, including Google Webmaster and Google Analytics.

I've also learned about some neat new extensions for Firefox, presented by Jessamyn West (

I anticipate having a mushy brain by the end of the conference.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friends, friendsters, and top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites

Friends, friendsters, and top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites

Very interesting article on friends and friendships, and how social networking structures are shaping these concepts. The author also has a blog, apophenia.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Living Books

I love to read what other people think about books... not titles, but books as objects. In Lebbon's Dawn, there's a wonderful passage about books:

All her life, she had known that books were living things, not just a convergence of concept and and ink, intellect and paper. They did not breathe or think, but they grew and gave a sense of potential so much larger than whatever was written on their pages. one there to read them. Its pages would be closed and the spaces between the leaves dark and inscrutable, but the words were still there, telling their truths and hinting at so much more. ... Her own interaction with a book would change it, and someone else reading it would alter it again. ... Like a person, only a book could ever really know itself. (pp. 16-17)

Isn't that rich? Isn't it true?

I read Lebbon's Dusk last year and was so taken with it. The book is very dark; his worldbuilding is incredible. I was *there* in every scene. Dawn is of course the sequel. So far, it's every bit as good.

But most of all, one of the main characters is... a librarian!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Shabbat and the City » Shabbat and the City in Second Life?

Shabbat and the City » Shabbat and the City in Second Life?

Well, I could say, Now I've seen everything! I'm sure, however, we've only just begun with the SL world.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Stardust@Home - About Finding Stardust

So, around Jan. 1, I was just hanging around, looking at this and that, reading about what's new in technology, and lo, and behold, here's spinoff from SETI. Of course, nothing else would do, but I would have to check this Stardust thing out.

So I signed up for the tutorial, and spent the next hour or so looking for stardust trails.

This could be fun, except I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, and I hate getting things wrong (although I should be used to getting things wrong by now.... ).

So the gist of this is, I use a virtual telescope to examine photos for tiny grains of intersteller dust. It's not like I don't have anything to do with my time, you see. And here's something to consider... SETI uses your cpu power when you're not using.

Here's the real question... Does Stardust use my brainpower when I'm not using it??

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Does my "heart" good...

Just came in from a meeting, walked into the den where the tv was blasting, and caught a few minutes of Heart on CMT.
I tell ya, it really does my heart good to see those rawking ladies up there belting out Barracuda... 'Cause you see, they're a few years older than me, and yet, their energy is totally unabated. I'm beginning to believe that age is the greatest illusion...