Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009


OK, I understand we can make statistics say anything, but this is so much fun!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Level 71 At Last!

Haven't had a chance to play much in eons, but finally got back to it a bit these past few weeks. Tonight (this morning?) Atzilut finally leveled. Atzi was in Valiance, picking up Grand Master training for skinning, herbalism and first aid. Also picked up the Writhing Longstaff. Well, off to bed. May the stars guide you...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sending Out an SMS - Joe Murphy

Considers the ability to send a text message a "core competency" for librarians today.
Twitter: @libraryfuture
Tweetable: text messaging is the focus of mobile communication and info exchange. It is the most important addition to library services of our time. The role of SMS in our lives is growing. Alerts by SMS include weather, air lines, 911, politics, ordering pizza, emergency alerts and more.
More popular that phone calls. Expectation experiential gap.
Contact point, information service, portal.
Text messaging coupons... great application, but the technology isn't there yet.
Social networking: some do it better than others. Facebook isn't even quite there... you can get a message that someone wants to be your friend, but you can't friend them without going to the Facebook application.
Joe engages with ~400 text messages per day for personal communication, news, current awareness and searching.
SMS is now used for so much more than communication; it is also a major way that we engage with info. Journals, higher ed,
SMS transforms the phones in our pockets to discovery devices thru mobile answer and searching devices.
Through Mobile search services such as Google SMS, ChaCha & KGB we search the web and get answers from real people in real time.
Every librarian should have a smart phone... The workstation of the future.
Never believe a librarian who tells you that Web 2.0 is free.
Thru the mobile use of social networking sites, esp twitter and Facebook, we use SMS for seeking info from social circle.
We also use SMS increasingly for knowledge management: tracking and sharing info and resources with SMS alerts.
Libraries can stay relevant in this evolving mobile landscape by offering answer and info services via text messaging.
Joe uses ChaCha and KGB to answer his information needs.
Choosing a technology for SMS reference can be tricky but is THE major concern affecting all aspects of the service.
The major considerations for evaluating SMS ref technologies: cost, staff workflows, meeting patron expectations, flexibility of tool.
Options for tech for SMS reference: SMS/IM mashups, direct with cell phones, web based, SMS/Email conversion software
Using a cell phone is best, gives mobility, no expectation gap, least steps for staff, flexible for future services. Helps bridge the gap between traditional services and virtual services. He recommends the iPhone, but in the next year things will be happening. Security issues: securing the phone, security for the patron.
Does the popularity of twitter make it a viable option for mobile ref or is the patron needing a twitter account too high a barrier?
Get the SMS ref phone # into patron's phones and foster the connection between that contact and their needed info.
We need a carefully planned management structure for SMS ref because it's a major service shift with unique considerations.
Staffing concerns
Mobile literacy: librarians need an emerging skill set for engaging info services thru mobile devises.
joeydigits on flickr - Social Networking Competencies for Librarians
Yale University Science Libraries. @ylescilib blazed the trail...
Tips to start an SMS re program: explore tehs, plan for management, train/play, test, launch. Contact @libraryfuture for assistance.
SMS can expand all ref services and is the keystone to mobile virtual reference.
We can get a good sense of what to expect for the future of SMS ref by keeping a finger on the pulse of SMS and mobile...
Consortia/Collaborations will be important for SMS
The slides will be on flickr

This was a very exciting session. Lots on interactivity. Lots of good things to consider as we shake up our customer service areas.

Public Library Panel on Text Messaging

Orange County Library System: Gregg Gronlund ("Information . Imagination . Inspiration" on the bottom of his slides)

Tapping into the public trend; excellent customer service; innovation
Questline = their call center. Started in Sept. 1994. Separated their walk-in from the call-in traffic, so that reference librarians could focus on walk-in traffic. Reference librarians still answer reference questions. Average 15,000 calls per month. Stafing: 3 fulltime librarians and 11 full time reference assistants, manager and asst. manager. Also cross trained reference staff.
Phone and headset. Email. Questline database. Library Catalog. Text messaging. Millennium circ. Instant service.
OLIVE (OCLS Interacrive Virtual Experience)- Video conferencing
Service determined by 1) service requsted and 2)cardholder status
Offers full service through Questline.

Text messaging through upside wireless Has a microsoft office plug-in which converts a text message to an email, and vv. Has an autoresponse feature for some keywords. Zip code will get them the 3 closest branches. Gamer will get them the next gaming event at the library. Also alerts for due dates and computer classes.

Innovations @ OCLS

Use an Excel spreadsheet with codes for scheduling staff.
150 characters or less
answers should come from a reliable accepted source
When possible answers should include the source in the reposnse
Response time should be 30 minutes or less
Try to be thorough; the patron may not followup with other questions.
Tiny URLs don't tell people where they are going, so it's important to tell people what site you're sending them to.

Advertised a Business Text Messaging Night and a Sports Text Messaging Night. Increased the number of texts received that month.

They post a message about standard text messaging rates apply. If you're under 18, must have parent or guardian permission to text.

One format does not get priority over the other. Call center people take them as they come, but focus on finishing one before moving on to another.

Put an Ask a Question icon on every page that gave people a choice between chat or email. Increased usage from 85 a month to over 300 a month.

Good session.

A Quick Review of EBook Devices

Read an EBook week.

The Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville has a guide to ebook devices, that includes youtube videos, etc.

4.5 million netbooks sold each quarter. light, better battery life. being used as ebook readers.

Nintendo DS is being used in Japanese.

Augmented reality... Second time today I've heard this.
I'm loving these AR popup books!!

7 textbook companies have now moved to ebook format (CourseSmart)

Augmented reality coming to iPhone with iPhone OS 3.1

Cataloging Notices to Cellphone

I've missed a great deal of this one... :( I hope it's going to be online somewhere. The audience asked a lot of questions during the session-- very engaged.

Shoutbomb is granted tunnel access to Millennium, as a self-check user. Hold, courtesy and overdue reports are generated, and then automatically processed using a TCL script. The reports are then sent to shoutbomb using SFTP. Shout bomb resolves the report against a list of signed-up patrons (barcodes). Records are stored for 5 days, and then deleted, to ensure patron privacy.
Patrons text a message to the library to signup for this service.

Training staff to send text message to a phone. For example, to Verizon user, the text goes to [number] Other providers are listed at for more info.

Next step: text message reference. Issues include staff training, recognizing a SMS as it comes in and the 140-character limit. Goals: seamlessness; patron experience; staff workflow; SMS to IM gateway.;

Web signup at DCPL..;
QR codes
Augmented reality (AR). Snappr is Toby Greenwalt's blog.

Notes on the Handheld Librarian Online Conference

Gerry McKiernan's keynote on "Current Mobile Trends in Libraries". Much of the information can be found on his blog,

Digital Collections on DukeMobile iPhone app (YouTube)
Facebook EBook Readers in Libraries
Kindle app for iPhone can access Kindle content without having a Kindle. 240,000 Kindle books are avilable for the iPhone or iPod Touch.
WikiMods: wikipedia for mobile phones
Epocrates RX free prescription drug reference
Blackboard Learn for iPhone
Epocrates MobileCME
guides from U of Iowa on pdas

Is the Kindle the future of ILL? Re-Kindling Interlibrary Lon: Amazon's Kindle...
At BYU, Kindle Program on Hold (Library Journal)

Twitter Journals = Journals that Tweet SciTechMed Journals
Twitter for Libraries / Sarah Milstein
Libraries that Twitter
Twittering Libraries Wiki: Prominent Uses in Libraries.
More and more library vendors using twitter
OCLS YouTube on their mobile OPAC
Farkas has info on mobile interaces on the best practices wiki

Reference services: mediated phone reference services for the cellphone user
Skype on iPhone
SMS Library Reference Service Options / Beth Stahr

Text a Librarian

Mobile Apps for Virtual Learning Environments
Barnes and Noble eBooks
Interactive Mobile Tutorials

Alan Kay (see wikipedia) conceived the Dynabook concept which defined the basics of the laptop computer.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Ever Evergreen Conference

Six of us traveled down to Athens, GA, for the first ever Evergreen Conference. About 150 people from as far away as Armenia made the trek. Many people were checking things out, asking lots of really great questions, gathering facts, before deciding whether to enter the forest.

Truth be told, my mind was all over the place. We go live on May 28th, and I was thinking about data, data, data. However, I was doing a lot of listening, and asking copious questions as well.

We arrived in time for lunch at DocSuey's, a noodle restaurant. From there we headed over to the conference center to register and attend two afternoon pre-sessions. This time we skipped the hackfest; we'll save that for next year. LaBon and I attended the SysAdmin Survival Skills, and Laura and Rob went to the Documentation and DocBook demo.

LaBon said he enjoyed the sysadmin survival skills. I enjoyed the last 45 minutes. To me, it was like a high level engineering design class; I just wanted to learn to how to tune up my car and keep it running efficiently. I can't seem to find a happy medium with the sysadmin training I've had so far. Of course there is a solution for that: it does involve more work for me, though. Well, what else is new. I just luv a challenge.

Laura and Rob, on the other hand, said they enjoyed their session. I believe it... I heard laughter coming from their room. I'm just a curmudgeon.

The vendors hosted a very nice reception. Thank you! SC had a great showing. There were at least 21 South Carolinians there. About seven of us ended up at the Globe, a decent tavern, for dinner and a few. Later another large group came in, including Bob Molyneux, aka Dr. Data. Good conversation all around...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

'Ware dissing the website goddess!

If there is a website goddess, I must have indeed dissed her bigtime! The story...

March 4th I received an email about one of the websites; it just wouldn't load. So I went in to take a look... Still don't know what the problem was. The database looks good. Of course, server tech support was NO help. I'm so spoiled, and don't like having to use a hosted server, although there are distinct advantages. Tech support: reload Joomla! I smile sweetly, (ok, I didn't), muttered a long string of epitaphs, (colourful ones), and started looking at how to migrate to Joomla! 1.5. Might as well. No time like the present.

So, I needed to test it on something. Note to self: in spare time, set up a test server. I decided to test it on my personal, and seriously neglected, website. Of course the migration went well. Sigh of relief. Don't go looking... I haven't reloaded my templates yet.

Time to try it on the downed site. Ha. Migration did not go well. No. Not at all. Why should it? Obviously I haven't placated the goddess appropriately. Grumph. But I'm not totally dejected; I still have the content.

As I have no time during the week to work on this, I wait and think about the changes I'd like to make to the site. No time like the present. Plan, plan plan...

On my birthday, no less, to add injury to insult, my DH brings me the phone, with such a message... I'M SO SORRY! I HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD BACKUP! What? What??!!?

Yes, gentle readers. On another server, a different website. Gone. LOL, maniacal shrieking. (Not quite. I did in fact have an excellent backup.)

What have I done to receive such negative attention from the goddess?? Could it be the fact that I have purchased patterns and fabric for new SCA garb? Fabric and patterns still in the bag? It must be.

So website number 3 is restored. 20 minutes, natch. The rest should go so well...

If someone can tell me how to appease the website goddess, I'd be forever grateful. In the meantime... I no longer have to wonder when I should migrate to Joomla! 1.5. And I can make the changes I've been thinking about.

I think the whole thing has to do with the lack of time to devote to playing WoW. Maybe I should quit sleeping...