[link to it] 28Feb05start 'em young!

The start of her library.... My pal Matt and his wife and their innovative baby shower.

Hi. Spam is weird, we all know that. I got what I think is a truly bizarre piece of spam in the postmaster@ box at my library today.

Effective immediately, your local library hours are changing to 9-5 Monday-Saturday.
If you are not currently using the library, please disregard this message.
Please do not respond as responses to this mailbox are not checked.

Notification for:
[my director's name]
Rutland Free Library
[variant of my director's email address]@rutlandfree.org

--Research Team

[link to it] 27Feb05what is going on with federal depository libraries

Government Information in the Digital Age: The Once and Future Federal Depository Library Program. The Federal Depository Library Program run by the GPO is changing, dramatically. How will this affect you, and your patrons' access to goverment information? James Jacobs and Shinjoung Yeo have made a preprint of an article they've written available.

We believe the GPO’s proposed model will do more to endanger long-term access to government information than ensure it.  Libraries have been slow to offer alternatives.  Many librarians have even supported GPO's proposals -- perhaps because the long-term implications are not clear.

Though this article in D-Lib is a bit of a "complex text" it's worth reading if you've been asking yourself "How can I try to ensure fair use rights in the brave new world of DRM-ed content?" No matter what happens with DRM over the next few months, librarians that manage DRM-ed content are going to have to get a whole lot more tech-savvy, and quick.

The case of library licenses can be implemented by providing libraries with Library customer templates to request Library customer licenses valid for a fixed period of time. Prior to giving out a new copy of a Library customer template, the library can check the PCM to see whether the number of customer licenses in use is fewer than the maximum allowed.

More news about the goverment. My Senator, among others, is working on strengthening FOIA so that, among many other good things, "writers for Internet outlets" can get their FOIA fees waived, the same way writers for traditional media can.

[link to it] 26Feb05lord of the hissy-fit

Romance novel cover art really does seem to write its own jokes sometimes. [lj:libraries]

Can you remember the last time anything a librarian wrote was in the Daypop Top 40? I think I'll leave Rochelle's words on the subject as the last thing I'm also thinking about all of this.

if Gorman were not the President-Elect of a major professional organization, I'd not be as het up. I've read more concentrated bad-mouthing about libraries, librarians and the ALA the past two days, than I've ever seen, and that's not A-OK. I'm trying to put a positive spin on it and think of it as a growing pain within the profession.  We're long overdue for a growth spurt.

[link to it] 25Feb05"blog people" respond

I've read a few really good responses to Michael Gorman's blog people article that are worth sharing. Michael Stephens, Kevin Smith, Jason Griffey and Steven Cohen have written lengthy responses on their blogs. I hear all the hot action is going on on Web4Lib where Blake from LISNews chimes in with some perspective, as does Roy Tennant. This reposting from a Slashdot discussion made me laugh, as did this one.

Gorman obviously has a lot to say. If only there were some tool available to him that would facilitate his putting it online, perhaps with a way for those interested in it to receive a notification when something new was available, and to respond with lively, rough-and-tumble comments...

[link to it] 24Feb05blog people say "ugh" to Michael Gorman

I read about this at about the same time I saw it in my RSS reader. Incoming ALA President Michael Gorman wrote an LJ opinion piece coming down hard on blogs and bloggers, quite possibly in response to some hassling he's been getting from some of of the conservative bloggers. I read about it on the Council list, and then Anna's blog, and then Karen's. There were some heated responses on the list, and Gorman's response that he was being satirical doesn't really ring true to me. I supported Gorman's ALA presidency last year and have always considered him an political ally and something of a comrade. Seeing him lash out -- whether in jest or for real -- in a way that makes him sound like he doesn't know what he's talking about disturbs and concerns me. Though the concern is more in a "will ALA ever get a clue?" way than in any "what will the fallout from this be?" way. Ugh, just ugh.

I don't speak Portugese, but I can make out the hug me tight part of this librarian sculpture. [thanks david]

[link to it] 23Feb05hi - 23feb

Hi. I try to update my about page every year or so. I've just updated it. This week also saw two checks in the mail. One from Powells for $45 or so for my yearly affiliate fees and one from my publisher with this year's royalty check for $200 or so. Revolting Librarians Redux has now sold over 1000 copies which makes me sort of happy.

Now that organizations are starting to get their own blogs, people are starting to have some of the blog-policy questions, which is something you get when trends becomes more institutionalized. Karen has been working on blog ethics for a while and her recent post discusses CLA's new blog and their stated intent to make the blog feeds a CLA member benefit. She discusses the whole idea of member benefits which confront the more wired idea of getting and giving content for free. ALA has back issues of American Libraries as a member benefit. At my library we used to have nine public access computers but only one for non-patrons that could access email. The three other "email computers" were a patron benefit. Not only was this system not particularly useful to our patrons -- many people who want Internet access at the library specifically want to check their email -- but it made us, as librarians explaining the system, look like we didn't "get technology" We had to make the computers do something that they wouldn't do normally in order to put a barrier between what we wanted to give away for free, and what we wanted people to pay for. Similarly in the CLA case, blogs made with any current CMS have an RSS feed. Whether or not you link to it, it still exists, right?

CLA may have produced a great journal in the past; now it can produce a great blog. It will not be a great blog if only its members can access it, because what makes blogs great are their impact on society. CLA, the cluetrain has pulled into the station. Please, I beg of you: get on board.

If your patrons could check out books on tape loaded onto this cute little number, do you think circulation might increase? [thanks scully]

Of course if you're aksing questions like "how can I use this nifty technology in my library?" you know Michael will have something to say about it.

[link to it] 22Feb05mazel tov Dan!

Hey my pal Dan won an award from LITA, congrats Dan!

Chudnov led in the creation of two online communities (oss4lib and usrlib) and in the organization of successful hackfests at Access2003 and Access2004. He has been described by a colleague as "a continual source of new ideas, and seems to be able to effortlessly bring people together to collaborate." Most recently, Chudnov led in the development of Unalog, an open source link sharing application that is finding wide usage and acceptance. Another colleague said, "no one is more influential in the area of Open Source software and the use of technology for social computing in libraries than Dan Chudnov."

Ukulele books. NOT books about ukuleles.

I have been really interested in the Broadcast Flag and its ongoing legal battles as more DRM-ish pro-business anti-consumer legislation that could negatively impact libraries. This was even before I learned that the ALA was challenging it in court. Learn more about the Broadcast Flag from Cory Doctorow.

[link to it] 21Feb05636.45 MICH redux

Nichole actually takes the time to ask Scott to explain his joke.

Damn you Greg Schwartz, for making me listen to your podcast to see what you had to say about me! Fascinating stuff, though once again I would have rather read it quickly than listened to it slowly. Greg on the other hand, probably liked getting to talk rather than type for a change. Plus, he has a mellifluous voice, so it was a painless and rewarding eleven minute intro to the podcast world, thanks Greg. I wonder if my "Why I don't listen to podcasts." pronouncements sound like my friends when they tell me they just don't use RSS, or me when I explain why I don't TiVo. There are two parts to these arguments I think

1) I don't need the new technology to improve the experience I have ["I read blogs pages by page, who needs RSS?" or "I have an answering machine who needs voicemail?"] versus the subtly different

2) what the new technology brings me is something I don't feel that I need in the first place ["I don't need a cell phone.", or "I don't need an MP3 player."].

There's more room to move and convince in the first kind of argument than in the second. As for my personal choices, I have an answering machine, MP3 player, RSS reader and no cell phone, all pretty much intentionally.

This has more to do with technology adoption generally than podcasting in specific. Greg makes some really good points about the strengths of getting your news and/or new music this way. If you listen to a lot of radio, you should look into podcasting. The radio I listen to here has my traffic reports, weather updates and the status of the parking garage demolition. I'm sure over time I'll be refining my "why I am not listening to your podcast" line like many people greet me with the "why I am not reading your blog" line but right now my answer is "I'm waiting for the local podcasters" Tell me if you find them.

A sidenote to the podcast talk: if you want to participate in podcasting, you'll probably also want to have broadband since Greg's 11 minute podcast is about 5MB. This got me thinking about the digital divide again, and how it relates to new technologies. One of the things I love about RSS is that it actually saves me bandwidth because I'm not loading a lot of formatting and ancillary web page fluff that I'm not interested in [for the truly lovely sites, I'll still go look at the pages, natch]. The content to bandwidth ratio is high. I only got cable modem recently in Vermont and my house up North still has dial-up. There is one ISP there with a local number and they don't even have have a web page. It's a different world. My options there are dial-up, satellite broadband, or nothing.

As of mid-2003 17% of Vermont households had broadband. I'm sure that number has shot up, but how high? I've been reading through the Vermont Telecommunications Plan from the end of 2004, and it's fascinating stuff. 66% of Vermonters surveyed in late 2003, early 2004 had Internet access at home. Of them, roughly 25% use cable or DSL with the rest on dial-up, WebTV or other workarounds.. So... a little quick math... and we've got about 15% of Vermonters who have cable Internet or DSL. I'm sure this number has also increased, but how high? That's about 100,000 people more or less. Want to know why it isn't higher? Check out these two graphs I pulled from the report, paraphrased "Why I haven't used the Internet recently" and "Why we're not getting faster Internet at work" What does a library, or a librarian do about this?

More heavy USAPA reading that is worth reading in its entirety “Baseless Hysteria”: The Controversy between the Department of Justice and the American Library Association over the USA PATRIOT Act [big pdf] from this month's Law Library Journal. The article outlines the back-and-forth that happened between the US DoJ and the American Library Association primarily during September 2003. You may recall some of these anecdotes were linked here, some of them I hadn't even read until now, particularly this chestnut by Ashcroft in paragraph 34-35.

Rather than simply reporting the facts about the use of the Act with respect to library records, as he had with all the facts regarding the successes of antiterrorism efforts, Ashcroft continued to ridicule his opponents. His speech on September 18 went on to say: “And wouldn’t you know it. So prying are we, so overheated is our passion to know the reading habits of Americans that we have used this authority exactly . . . never. . . . And so the charges of the hysterics are revealed for what they are: castles in the air. Built on misrepresentation. Supported by unfounded fear. Held aloft by hysteria.”.... Since participation in the events scheduled for the twenty-city tour was by invitation only, and Ashcroft appears to have tailored his remarks for these selected audiences, it is unlikely we will know what was actually said. The fact that the sarcasm and ridicule were scripted is, however, disturbing and beneath the professional conduct one would expect of the attorneygeneral of the United States.

The author's ultimate conclusion is not the "rah rah librarians" cry that we're used to hearing. She includes some thoughtful reflection on how the ALA could have put a diferent spin on their official reaction and follow-up to the AGs remarks, and how this could have been an opportunity, perhaps, for law enforcement and librarians to work together to understand each other. While I'm not sure I agree with her conclusions -- there is some well-placed mistrust between librarians and law enforcement that can't be smoothed over without having both sides understand the concerns and mandates of the other -- the article makes for worthwhile fact-filled reading that will enhance anyone's understanding of the USAPA.

It is unfortunate that the debate between the attorney general and Carla Hayden was so narrowly focused on the struggle of the ALAto wrest information from the government about the use of the USA PATRIOT Act in libraries. Managed in a less reactionary manner, the debate could have been an opportunity to have a broader discussion about how, in this age of rapidly changing technology, librarians are not book babysitters but rather information managers in institutions that have become information centers for their communities. The discussion could have been an opportunity for law enforcement to educate librarians on the process of criminal and foreign intelligence investigations, and for both librarians and law enforcement officials to find ways to work together for mutual safety and the protection of civil rights. Simply put, this failure to communicate facts and ideas instead of emotional barbs precluded the exchange of meaningful information. [thanks jack]

Without too much fanfare, Allen Weinstein became the Ninth Archivist of the United States last week. You might recall that the society of American Archivists expressed serious reservation with the process that brought Weinstein's name to the table though they stopped short of opposing his appointment. More over at Daily Kos. It will be interesting to see what happens during his tenure.

[outgoing US Archivist] Carlin was dismissed right before Bush 41's papers were to become available to the public under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act; this seems unlikely to be a coincidence. As someone working in a number of archives, I know from experience that it is VERY easy for an archivist to drag his/her feet on making a collection accessible; especially for a collection as massive as the files of a President's Office, the archivist really has to want to release the files to get them out on time. Bush 43, as evidenced by his executive order earlier in his term extending restrictions on presidential papers, does not want this; in light of what appears to be an obviously political appointment, it will remain to be seen whether Dr. Weinstein will want it, or will be able to want it.

Aaron details more on what he is doing with Flickr at his library. Since part of my job over my last six weeks at the library is to make the web site maintainable by other staff, I've been looking for ways of simplifying and streamlining web updating processes. I installed WordPress so even though my library doesn't have a blog yet -- we're still getting staff on email, everything in due time -- they do have a simple web interface for editing and uploading new content. Flickr will automatically crop photos to 75x75, among other sizes, so I built that size image into our home page. Flickr gives people easy URLs for uploaded images and has even simpler ways of showing revolving images on a non-blog site via a badge system they concocted. Did I mention that it's free for basic users? I don't own Flickr stock or anything, I'm just always really happy to see clean usable tools that are feature-rich enough for me and yet easy enough to use and understand for my Mom or the folks from work.

We have Banned Books Week, Canada has Freedom to Read Week [which started yesterday]. What's the difference? Just look at the two web sites and think about the differences in presentation and approach. Think about which event makes you feel more included, or piques your interest more.

Two more little Flickr exercises and then I promise I'll leave it alone: Eric is looking for librarians to send postcards to his son Odin to encourage a love of reading. I sent mine. Also, I installed a "safari theme" for my Firefox browser and am finding it to my liking. How is it like and not like Safari proper? See this little graphic for some point by point comparison.

[link to it] 18Feb05hi - 18feb

Hi. Aaron's library and my library are now friends on Flickr. In other tech news, I have to apologize for not paying much attention to the newish podcasting craze sweeping the blogosphere out here, though I hear that Lessig has finally gotten on the bandwagon. In short, the reason I like tech tools like RSS and del.icio.us and feedster is that they allow me to take in news fast and scan-like, faster even than it takes to write it down. When I want to interact with information slowly, I'll read a book. I know many people listen to the radio recreationally and so podcasting probably works for them. For me, taking in information in a 1 minute=1 minute ratio actually slows me down. I don't mean to sound all "oh listen to me, I'm so busy" because I'm not. I have a lot of leisure time. I don't have information overload. I enjoy the amount of media I interact with. However, I usually listen to the radio, or new music, or silence when I'm working. My multitasking does not extend to the audible realm. I'm looking forward to reading what others have to write about podcasting.

Any librarians who got their degree in 1996 or after [that's me, is it you?] please take a few minutes to take this survey about new librarians and the five year itch.

Anyone who is curious what I do at ALA Council meetings is welcome to take themselves to this URL


and follow along with the [Word] documents and three separate Council pages and see if you can follow along at home. No, I haven't been keeping this from you since early January, this page was just posted.

[link to it] 17Feb05cell phones in the library

I'm not sure if I would call Dear Abby "the best opinions in the universe" but she's right on when she says that the reference librarian has no obligation to assist a patron who wouldn't get off his cell phone to talk with her. We have many patrons with cell phones in our library and a fairly loose policy that states that if your cell phone is disturbing other patrons you may be asked to take it outside into the lobby. I'm becoming the master of saying "Hi, if you're going to be a while, would you mind taking your conversation out to the lobby? Thank you!" and it's worked fine for me, but I know other staffers are more timid about approaching patrons who are being noisy on their phones. In our library, it's just an extension of the "please don't be noisy" policy which we have most places except the children's area and upstairs in the classroom. LISNews folks discuss the issue a bit more.

[link to it] 15Feb05the noble tradition of libraries

A long but worthwhile article on where libraries are going with some reflections on where they've been.

Although the computer terminals tend to be the busiest area in the library these days—and remain the only place where people who do not have internet access at home, which includes half of all households in Brey-Casiano's district, can use the internet for free—librarians maintain that the internet should supplement, not supplant, traditional sources. [thanks robert]

A somewhat creepy implementation of RFID technology. thanks fiona

Corny Library Pickup Lines, and How Librarians Effectively Shoot Them Down. What's that call number, something about pigs? [rochelle]

[link to it] 14Feb05hi - 14feb

Hi. I typed "I love the library" into Google to find something nice for you all for Valentine's Day and I found an entry from my own site as the number five result. My boyfriend got a valentine made up of words I had cut out of old catalog cards, lucky guy.

It warms my librarian heart to see the younger generation of librarians still enjoying a good Ranganathan joke.

If you are a resident of Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire, or Oregon, and happen to be blind or visually challenged [or if you know someone who is] you can access audiobooks online in Windows Media format for free from Unabridged.

You have probably already seen this article about a library in Illinois who had a challenge to the [admittedly weird] movie Happiness. The library ultimately decided to keep the movie in its collection but to ditch the ALA guildelines from their policy manual for being "too liberal." I assume they were talking about the Library Bill of Rights though the ALA does have many guidelines about intellectual freedom for libraries. [libactivist]

Canadian version of Harry Potter saves 30,000 trees. How? By being printed on recycled paper. Learn more about Greenpeace's campaign to encourage publishers to go the green route at their Save or Delete site. [ode]

Hey it's one of those great weird library basement discoveries, but it's in the basement of my own local library! Not quite the Declaration of Independence, but a fascinating look into my town's past.

The volumes are replete with priceless gems regarding Bethel in years past. There are not only comments and thoughts regarding Sylvester Parker’s sermons, but numerous mundane yet interesting vignettes containing such matters as Mary’s cooking, Sylvester’s need for a new coat, an incident when he was run over by a horse, his travels, a record of the daily weather, Mary’s purchase of poorly-fitting false teeth, and many daily events in the town.

[link to it] 13Feb05hi - 13feb

Hi. I've seen two small libraries that were not in libraries lately. One was in Bryant Park Reading Room originally called the "Open Air Library", outside of the main NYPL building. In bad weather it is enclosed in a plastic tent. It's a book and newspaper collection that was intended originally during the Depression Era to be accessible to everyone. No money, no address, no problem. It existed in the 30's and 40's [and closed once the wartime job surge put a lot of people back to work] and is re-opening this year. The second was at my local video store. They have a few shelves of books that relate somehow to the movies that they carry like the entire Lemony Snicket series, or the Simpsons episode guide. All the books can be checked out with your movies, for free.

I have always enjoyed Andrew Pace's writing and his Technically Speaking column in American Libraries. This month he talks a little bit about the awkward acronym that reflects the awkward systems that are OPACs.

I have not found a patron who is satisfied with any answer as to why a web search engine can return relevant results from four billion full-text websites faster than an OPAC can return a randomly sorted hitlist from one million surrogate records; nor should any patron be satisfied with even a bona fide answer to that question.

While it would be a more cut-and-dried case of patron privacy to deny wholesale snooping in your patron databases, what about when the police come to your library with a patron's wallet? If you're in Johnson County, giving the police that patron's phone number might get you fired. I know the police have shown up at our library more than once looking for patron information supposedly in the interests of returning a wallet or a PDA. I believe our policy is to offer to call the patron, but not give out that patron's personal information [without a warrant] in accordance with our privacy policy. Of course, any privacy policy is only as strong as the weakest link who has database access, right?

A quickie one-off joke. When I mess with OPACs at other libraries, I often try a search for my name, or my book. NYPL has eight copies, but one is missing.

There's a good article in Library Juice this week about the Alternative Press Center Library in Baltimore MD.

One of the great benefits to living in a rural community is that going to a foreign country is a big deal. I have done a slide show of pictures from my trip to Australia twice now, once at a senior center and once yesterday at my library. Thirteen people showed up and we had a good time. Here are a few photos from the slide show along with some things I learned about doing slide shows at a library.

I've been helping my law student boyfriend deal with looking at citation/bibliography software that will do Bluebook formatting, so I was primed and interested to see CiteULike which is a tool for maintaining a del.icio.us-like citation database for academic articles that you find online. Haven't used it yet, looks intriguing in a taggish sort of way. [nothing]

[link to it] 11Feb05bathroom graffiti speaks to me on occasion

People who still love words have to be forgiven everything.

I'm a sucker for heartwarming stories like the town with a population of one and a library with 5,000 volumes. [thanks tj]

[link to it] 10Feb05hi - 10feb

Hi. I've returned from the scenic wonderfulness of New York City only to hit an all-day snowstorm here. I was pleasantly suprised that at least two of the films I got to review for the Media That Matters film festival mentioned libraries! If you're a librarian, you might be interested in the ways you can use Media Rights' films and videos as a resource for your library.

Check me out! There's an article this week in my alternative weekly about my email class and technology in general in Vermont's libraries.

[P]roviding free Internet access and tech support to patrons in a rural state is a real challenge; what Vermont libraries offer varies wildly from town to town. The kind of training users receive depends entirely on who's behind the desk when they ask for help. And poorer communities -- which need this access and support the most -- are still often least likely to have it, despite grant funding

Erica Olsen astutely and succinctly puts her finger on it. A lot of library web sites suck. If they're not flat out ugly, they're deficient in other ways like usability, accessibility, poorly customized templates or just plain old lack of updates. They ignore conventional widsom about web design standards and fail to use clear page titles, citeable URLs, coherent navigational structures and, amazingly, meta tags. They have bad, or severely lacking, search capabilities. I'm not sure why this is true, and libraries certainly aren't the only profession so afflicted but we are one that should know better. Erica's not all snark though, she also includes a list of examples of good design in a subsequent post.

I went to the town meeting that Trina Magi and Bernie Sanders hosted at Vermont Law School last week. It's nice to know that a local news report about the meeting was entered into the Congressional Record.

One man asked how to best strike a balance between preserving civil liberties and vigilance against terrorist threats. Magi said it was something people would have to decide for themselves. "I think it's really legitimate to be afraid of terrorists," she said. "We can also be afraid of an overreaching government that stretches too far into our lives. There are plenty of examples of lives that were ruined by a government that was not restrained." [thanks ej]

Berkeley Public Library is going RFID in order to reduce theft and worker injuries. The outlay of cash comes at a time when the library can ill-afford it. From what I've been hearing, this will cost roughly 50 cents a book and has also been the impetus for a massive weeding campaign where books not deemed wirth a fifty cent RFID tag are being tossed.

The library has slashed its books and materials budget by 25 percent and has been scrambling to raise funds to recover about $300,000 for books by June. What's more, 15 staff positions have been left vacant, and up to a dozen people could be laid off in the coming fiscal year, Griffin said. Additionally, library hours have been reduced by 16 hours weekly at the central library and 12 hours a week at the four branches.

In a strange little coincidence, LISNews has this little article about a library in Brooklyn that had living quarters for the librarian. Many of you know that this is my dream job, ultimately, and to see this in Brooklyn was just too crazy! Turns out, it wasn't the Brooklyn that I was thinking of.

It really seems to me that one of Google's biggest strengths is taking things that others offer in a saturated-with-ads way and giving it to you with a clean and simple interface, and easy permalinks. In case you're wondering what my commute to work is like [and I'm home today, snowstorm] that link goes there. Big bummer, doesn't work with Safari.

[link to it] 4Feb05hi - 04feb

Hi. I'm heading to New York City tomorrow for a five day working vacation. Normally at this point I'd say "If you want to have a cup of coffee, IM me!" but my time looks like it's pretty well spoken for this time around.

A few other worthwhile links that came in but don't require too much in the way of explanation: A Librarian's Alphabet & Jinfo [from the folks at Free Pint].

Also, I just finished Tara's book Web Search Garage and really got a lot out of it. She discusses more than Google, more than syntax, and more than just the basics and offers some really good step-by-step approaches to ferreting out tough-to-find information specifically the things that are not just Googleable. I will give you a dollar if you read this book and don't learn at least one new thing from it. Check out the preview chapter and a few freebies on her page.

A generalized version of the ALA Council Drinking Game by Jill.

[link to it] 2Feb05hi - 02feb

Hi. The cost of health insurance at my library has gone up by double-digit percentages for the past two years. My pay has increased slightly, but nowhere near this much. As a result, I am now taking home less money this year than I was last year, even though I have one more year of experience. The taxpayers are paying the same amount, yet more of it is going to my insurers than to me. This is not sustainable. What do you think will happen?

A short short story, written entirely in copyright statements. [teleread]

[link to it] 1Feb05the realm of the audible and the visual

One thing we know about the web is that it's very easy to index and store and retrieve text, and very very difficult to make ISAR systems for other sorts of media. We've seen an inkling of what's to come with Google Video which uses the nifty hack of indexing the closed captioning to give entry points into visual content. Of course, as we know, closed captioning isn't perfect.

Moving on.... there have been a few library bloggers podcasting lately, including Open Stacks' Greg Schwartz [welcome back!]. Matt Haughey has been talking about podcasting on his blog for a while now. It's an interesting idea, and a great way to push regular audio content, if you're already creating it. I'm personally very rarely plugged in to my 'pod for that long at a stretch, and I'm just not sure the usual format of "hey get this MP3 stream automagically in your feed" works for the way I currently consume media, but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise. I'd love to see some good indexing/search features so you didn't just have a title/author to go by: where's all the spicy metadata?

On the other hand, visually disabled patrons who have been after us to get more information accessible via the voice mail system [new titles, possibly even book chapters] might find this really incredibly useful. This whole post was really just a way to get around to mentioning PennSound, a directory of poetry recordings. While the site has some interface design issues, it has a great vision and so far a pretty good execution. I feel like I could spend entire days digging around in poetry audio archives [a favorite], perhaps I should try podcasting that?

Teens are a tough crowd at the library. Libraries have been having some successes in bringing kids in to the library and keeping them there. Here's a few ideas culled from recent emails: Shannon is compiling tips for starting a teen knitting group, the Carnegie Library in Pittsburg has a Dance Dance revolution session on Friday afternoons, find some more suggestions on YALSA's programming for teens pages

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