Hi. It's taken me a while to get back on track after travelling. I got some good feedback on my talk from various ALA members and others and am hoping to use it even more in the future. I have also been invited to give a talk on "Emerging Technologies" for a group called Librarians of the Upper Valley [aka LUV] which is the area I live in. I am planning to talk about "technologies" such as voice mail, email, and good signage in addition to more nouvelle tech such as IM, blogs and "ask a librarian" web site features.
I read about books discussed the paper shortage [apocryphal?] that occurred in NYC when the latest Harry Potter
book was being published. This led me to think of the paper situation given the first printing of 1.5 million copies
of the 900 page My Life, Clinton's memoirs. For more data on what is being printed this year, you can read Bowker's statistical 2003 round up
. I can't tell if this press release is
the statistical data they have released or of there's a more fleshed-out report somewhere, anyone know?
Illinois library won't remove childrens' book
with a picture of an armed burglar in it.
"A good library collection should have something to offend everyone," said [children''s librarian] Jan Bojda, "If they don't, they are not doing their job." [chitrib, thanks jemmy]
A little thread on LISNews about "library envy
" The latest library that I have been to that I was envious of was the library at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
which I had the pleasure of getting a tour of when I was in DC. Ample funding, technology + books, multi-language collection, multi-lingual librarians, lovely space, good web site. It's open to the public, so put it on your dance card if you are in the area along with LoC and the spectacle that is the decline of the DC public library system. I know the librarian there, so drop me an email if you'd like an introduction.
If you're entrenched in the library blog world, you might be interested in the back and forth that has been going on between Library Juice
. Kathleen has a very good point
w/r/t the very real downsides associated with anonymous posting on community forums.
Speaking of library envy... Seattle Public Library is open and getting lots
of pictures taken of it. I'm sort of smitten with the weird crazy colors in it; they were one of the things I was going to miss about the interim location they had been in. This has also got to be one of the smartest ideas for placement of Dewey numbers
that I've seen. SPL was really the first library system I worked for [as a VISTA volunteer] after getting out of library school, so despite all my kvetching about them I have always sort of been rooting for them to get it together.
Hi. I'm back at work and doing a bunch of things: preparing for doing some IM reference here [a lot of staff education], getting a GLBT display ready for next month, and finding more ways to get teens into the library, or get the library to teens. Anyone has useful advice, please send it my way.
Who knew there was an entire listserv devoted to typos in library catalogs? Catalogablog has more
The new Seattle Public library which just opened
seems to have pretty widespread appeal but not everyone adores it
. At some level, I'd be worried if they did.
the interior takes its design cues from shopping malls rather than from successful older libraries. Circulation patterns inside the building are far from readily apparent, just like the most up-to-date shopping malls where the design goal is to keep the customer a prisoner of commerce. Indeed the building is likely to be a nightmarish place for anyone with even the slightest touch of agoraphobia.
There's a newish Dispatch from a Public Librarian
up on McSweeneys. Its writer Scott Douglas
really is a librarian someplace in California and has a pretty amusing FAQ
on his site.
They have a Masters in Library and Information Science?
Yeah. It's nicknamed the MLIS. It's a pretty silly thing that a lot of people don't take seriously. Basically it's two years of theory and such just so you can get a job getting paid less than a teacher.
Hi. I'm at a wireless cafe down the street from the MLA Conference. The talk went really well [I thought] and you can read my hyperlinked notes online here.
Hi. I'm staying outside of DC with friends. My MLA talk is tomorrow at 2 pm and I'm still putting the last parts of it together. If you happen to be going, please stop by and say hello.
Hi. Busy week around here as I prepare to drive down to DC. I am currently waging a war against the people at librarymarketinglist.com who I can confirm are selling my email address to spammers. I just wrote them to ask how I could go about removing my email from their list, we'll see how far I can get.
How to get
all those old Booklist reviews an illustrated tale
by Peter Jacso, the one who put the ALA website in his "jeers for 2003
Special jeers are due for timing it for the Library Week festivities when more visitors than usual could see this embarrassment of the association and the profession.
One more librarian for the books: Barbara Johns who was one of the plaintiffs in a case added to Brown vs. Board of Education
. She helped organize a strike at her school to protest the lack of indoor plumbing facilities. She went to college and became a librarian in Philadelphia
for the rest of her life.[thanks jonathan]
The Library That Puts on Fishnets and Hits the Disco
. Look at it
. Read about it
. I find myself almost stupidly hopeful for this building and this library. maybe we can learn a lesson about the perpetual perfunctoriness of many of our spaces and learn that just because it's uberfunctional, it doesn't need to be staid. [nyt, thanks bookofjoe]
The EFF blog is on my RSS feed so I get to read great stuff like this: Let The Sun Set on USA PATRIOT
. New one tomorrow!
Every two weeks ... we profile one of the 13 provisions scheduled to sunset and explain in plain language what's wrong with the provision and why Congress should allow it to expire.
Librarybug is just a fancy front end to this dataset
circa 2001 from the National Center for Education Statistics. Check out the number of ways you can search it
. Looks like there's just over a thousand public libraries that have a service population of 1,000 or less. Interesting. [thanks rteeter]
Hi. I'm completely exhausted. We helped the Gilbert Hart Library in Wallingford reshelve their entire non-fiction section into their new addition. Five of us shelved a few thousand books -- only approximately in order, shelf reading comes next -- in four hours. Then our library director took us out for ice cream at the local filling station.
Every state library association should have a nifty little blog like Library Stories
to collect local library news, national news of relevance, and links to useful associations [and me!]. Oklahoma is lucky to have this.
I know it says "tech news" at the top, but Copyfight
should be required reading for all librarians because it tackles the increasingly legally problematic issue of free information. In the library, we give our information away, freely. We learn about Fair Use to watch our asses, but who is going to sue a library? Well, here is a good post about Fair Use
and folks who are challenging the DMCA
with their own legislation, the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act, or DMCRA
Top 100 Library Books
, from OCLC
, who should know. Sort of a surprising list, in some ways. Chicago Manual of Style
appears twice for different editions. I'm not sure why Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Proceedings of the International Symposium At McGill University
made the list. They seem to be all either politics, management or reference books, with a few curveballs [no Googdnight Moon? Only three kids books?]
Incidentally, when I was looking for a link for the Wallingford library, I found this new source of US public library demographic data: librarybug.org
. The entry for our library
is a little out of date, but mostly correct, and they even have our micro-library
that I use here in town. Oddly, doing a whois search for the domain turns up nothing. It's registered to some company that prefers to remain anonymous
, but also owns collegebug.org
was probably the first really high-end reference source I can remember using in college -- for a paper on methemoglobinemia
. I remember being so astonished that you could attain that level of access to medical information, and that it was available even to scrubs like me. This was back when online searching was pay-by-the-query
Dialog searching and available only to highly skilled library staff. Now it's 16 years later and the print version of Index Medicus is ceasing publication
due to lack of subscribers, only 155 subscribers last year.
June is GLBT Book Month
. I'm interested to see how, or if, my library deals with this. We are one of those slightly left-leaning libraries in a fairly conservative community.
I'll have to pay more attention to the news stories, does the new Seattle Public Library have free wireless? Boston Public does
, in all their branches. Here are some pictures
of that lovely library. [thanks rebecca]
You know, I never call catalogers "catalog librarians" which is probably an oversight on my part. Seattle Times has a little profile on one of SPLs cataloguing librarians
"My husband would probably tell you I do a little too much thinking about the library after-hours. But it's not the kind of job where I get paged in the middle of the night for a cataloguing emergency."
Hi. I'm spending the entire morning reading about HIPAA. Part of the talk I'm giving at MLA will be about this legislation and the affect it has on medical librarians. The rest is on the USA PATRIOT Act and CIPA. HIPAA is my weakest area so I'm reading up. If any health or medical librarians would like to send me words of wisdom about their personal dealings with HIPAA, I'd really appreciate it.
Hi. There's a part-time job at a nearby library here in Vermont. It's 14 hours a week with pay "depending on experience" at a library that is open 17 hours a week. I'm going to try applying for it anyhow. What are the chances that the hourly pay is in the double-digits? Incidentally, someone asked if I ever have librarian.net t-shirts using that little favicon lady that some of you may have seen. The answer is that I might. Stay tuned.
San Francisco Public Library approved the use of RFID
for use in their libraries at a meeting last night. [RFIDinLib]
Bookmobiles bring books to people who stay in one place, but how do you get books to people who move around? The award winning Mobile Library Travellers Project
tries to do just that. [thanks owen]
If this is the only website you read, maybe you haven't seen this yet. Phone vs. Google vs. Library
, who is fastest? Of course, any librarian knows that the best thing to do is to call your librarian [who is at the library already] and then have her [or him] find the answer which might involve using Google but might not. What I want to see is a bunch of librarian superstars In the library, with IM and cel phones and Google and three cups of coffee and see which one of them is fastest given the same short list of tough questions. Now that's
a spectator sport. [thanks all]
I have been adding more and more rights©right type blogs to my RSS list lately including copyfight
, Freedom to Tinker
and EFF's blog
. Eli has been doing some work with digital archives and copyright as well and is looking for some help
getting data for the Kahle v Ashcroft
lawsuit. If you're library is hestitating to digitze items published between 1964-1977 because of fear of copyright, she'd like to hear from you.
Wow, I'm jealous. Our OPAC doesn't even support different browsers and here's one library that switched to a whole new operating system
that can still use theirs [thanks eli]
Hi. Yesterday was Greg's birthday. It was also the day the Movable Type version of this blog hit 500 posts. I am sure when I am someday holed up with a broken leg, I will go backwards and post-process all the pre-2003 content so it's searchable and keyworded and whatnot. For now, I'm just elated that it all works.
I have been reading The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World
which has a lovely foreword by James Billington, current Librarian of Congress
. His predecessor, Daniel Boorstin
, died recently
at the age of 87. A memorial service was held yesterday
at the Library of Congress.
"If Boorstin is remembered for nothing else, he will always be known as the one who opened up the Library of Congress to the people. Until he came along, the library existed pretty much to serve Congress. Boorstin saw the world's largest repository of knowledge as "a multimedia encyclopedia" and insisted that the bounty be shared with everyone." [see sidebar if you need a login. thanks dsdlc]
Resolving to Resist
by Elaine Scarry is a long and worthwile article on how people are resisting the USAPA.
"Despite impediments to resistance, 238 towns, cities, and counties have now created a firewall against executive trespass in their communities. Though there are many differences between the resolutions... the resistance is built out of six identifiable acts"
Today the assistant director and I puzzled over the monthly web stats from our site
trying to discern patterns and deduce meaning. I'm good with stats, but bad with ones that have been post-processed with tools I'm not super-knowledgeable about. As with many web tricks, I prefer to check the raw log files
to answer questions like "Why are 2% of our hits going to the 404 page?" and "Are we just seeing an increase in hits because we finally made the library web site the home page on all library's computers?" I encourage you to extract meaning from your web site statistics. Karen Coombs over at Library Web Chic
has laid out some intro pointers on what to look for
when you look at your logs.
Sulkbrarian is just trying to keep it real, people
. Her [?] posting of a listserv gem "Subject: An Open Letter To Library Directors" is worthy of Revolting Librarians any day.
"And lastly to those info pro recruiters who think that an individual can survive as a $10/hr temp in one of the most expensive cities in the US, as former librarians and MLS holder you are cheapening the profession by sending master's level professionals to do work for
only 75% the going rate of your average GED holding secretarial temp worker. The message that you are sending to employers is that we have no worth as a profession. " [thanks jemmy]
Want to catalog your home book collection? Kendall Clark shows you how in six easy steps
, more or less. Part of his Hacking the Library
series which is all well worth a read. [catalogablog]
Karen has posted the rest of the ALA Councilor election results
. The difference between getting elected to Council [the top 34 vote getters] and not was a slim eleven votes. Thanks to all who participated -- running, voting, tallying, whatever -- I look forward to some new folks on Council floor in Orlando.
Walter Benjamin on book collecting
O bliss of the collector, bliss of the man of leisure! Of no one has less been expected, and no one has had a greater sense of well-being than the man who has been able to carry on his disreputable existence in the mask of Spitzweg,'s "Bookworm." For inside him there are spirits, or at least little genii, which have seen to it that for a collector - and I mean a real collector, a collector as he ought to be - ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them. So I have erected one of his dwellings, with books as the building stones, before you, and now he is going to disappear inside, as is only fitting. [thanks dj]
Why does a search for "crazed librarian" net the pages of two musicians: Moby
and Nino Nardino
The Divine Miss Eli has started a list of conference tips
for newbies contemplating running the maze that is the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando this Summer.
Hey what a surprise, when we do user-centered design of our web tools, users like using them! Please read: What words and where? Applying usability testing techniques to name a new live reference service
. many of the lessons they learned are applicable to any library web site.
3. Users tended to ignore links above the main content area, especially if the links were graphic images. They expected these images to be banner ads and have, over time, learned to ignore them.
4. Users were not familiar with library jargon such as “database” or “interlibrary loan.”[pscott]