[link to it] 31May04hi - 31may

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.

Crafty uses for old books. [thanks rebecca]
If we make books indestructible, do children stop learning how to take care of them? [thanks owen]
A book 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 and LISNews. 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 and 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.
[link to it] 26May04hi - 26may

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. [unalog]
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.
[link to it] 23May04hi - 23may

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.

[link to it] 22May04hi - 22may

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.

[link to it] 18May04hi - 18may

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" list.
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.
Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen de la Peña McCook for winning ALA's Office for Diversity's Achievement in Diversity Research award. Now might be a good time to revisit her A Librarian at Every Table page.
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]
University of Hawai'i library experiments with 24 hour access. [thanks brandon]
Some cautionary words from Aaron about new technologies and libraries, from ebook to MP3.
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]
You've got to wonder what it takes to be a pit crew in a Dewey Decmal Drill Team [thanks tom]
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.
[link to it] 14May04more public library data
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]
Interesting article by Rory over at this week's Library Juice talking about what he perceives to be a conservative shift in LISNews' content and membership. update: LISNews responds.
Also in the libr.org universe, a newish petition to urge the US Government to end the occupation of Iraq.
[link to it] 13May04can you say "proactive"? The state of Maine can.
The State of Maine will provide compensatory funds to public libraries that lose e-rate funding due to not complying with CIPA. [thanks andrea]
Blake over at LISNews is asking for donations to defray his costs. You know how useful LISNews is. How about helping him out? In response to Steven's challenge, I have created a "save LISNews" button. Feel free to copy it and use it freely on your sites.

Save LISNews, click here for more information
[link to it] 12May04hi - 12may

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.

This month's issue of the ALA-APA's Library Worklife includes this little primer on unions, plus, a little something about blogs.
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
[link to it] 11May04another librarian cookbook
Help the Iowa Library Associations Endowed Speakers Fund. Contribute a recipe to Dewey or Don’t We? Librarians Cook
Index Medicus 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.
Michael's blog makes an ongoing good point about technology which is that it needn't always be expensive, or horribly complicated. His new list 10 Things A Library Can Do to Boost their Techie Stuff (without breaking the bank) has great tips.
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.
Seattle Public Library is opening May 23rd and sneak peek pictures are showing up everywhere: Arcspace, technobiblio, reluct & Pac NW Magazine [thanks all]
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."
[link to it] 9May04hi - 09may

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.

[link to it] 7May04hi - 07may

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]
Library World Records just came out on McFarland a few months back. Great idea... in need of a new URL. The author has also compiled a "best music hits chosen by a librarian" page. And, of course, he's collecting stats for a second edition.
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].
[link to it] 5May04hi - 05may

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]
Noted without comment: a pro-filtering anti-ALA opinion piece from Michnews.com by non-book-reader Arlene Sawicki. [lisnews]
Siva Vaidhyanathan is going on a tour to promote his book The Anarchist in the Library -- a book about who is maintaining control over information in a world of digital knowledge, among other things -- and is guest blogging over at the Lessig Blog this week. [copyfight]
Domain name registrations that include the word "google". Of note: googlelibrary.com, stopgoogle.com, bannedingoogle.com, googleos.com.
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"
Speaking of the USA PATRIOT Act, many of the nation's top criminal justice experts don't like it either according to a recently released report from Thomson Publishing. update: you can read the whole report here. [pdf]
[link to it] 3May04a digital aquifer of national interest information
Towards the Digital Aquifer: introducing the Common Information Environment
"In the Knowledge Economy, ready access to high quality, high value information must become a right and an expectation for all. The Common Information Environment is a large part of the process by which we all get there." [pscott]
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.
Press release on ALA election results here. Special note: way to go Katia Roberto, my co-author and now co-councilor!
[link to it] 2May04book collection for intellectual superheores
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]
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