My pal — librarian Chuck Munson — has hit the big time and gives a small interview to the New York Times talking about anarchism and the RNC. Close readers will notice that he got his plane ticket to the RNC from getting bumped from a flight at ALA.
Michael would like to see the ALA web site have blogs. I would just like to see the site have a well-functioning search engine, not say things like “the content should be here in mid-August” in late August, and not have pages like this or this or an organizational FAQ like this. If you’d like to know what progress is being made, you can check the ALA Website Advisory Committee Documents and their list of weighted priorities and of course, the status report.
Aaron and TechnoBiblio discuss the results of AOL’s Second Annual IM Survey and what it might mean for reference services especially in libraries that haven’t chosen yet to do virtual reference. Now, granted, a “trends” survey is a different animal than an actual scientific survey, and AOL has much to gain by people thinking that it and other IM clients are fairly ubiquitous. However, it’s hard to deny the numbers. I’m an old lady and I’m sure I send more IMs than I do email [although I also think that’s a false distinction in many ways] and I would use it a lot more if more people I knew were using it. Remember, it’s not just an AOL thing. There are many open source clients that you can use, even to chat with your pals on AIM. I would like to see some real numbers comparing libraries that use virtual reference software and libraries that use IM clients for chat reference comparing cost, usage, ease-of-use, and overall successfulness.
Speaking of virtual reference, I just realized that the issue of The Reference Librarian I edited that just came out is also available online with abstracts. There are some interesting articles about very different methods of providing “ask a librarian” services. Worth tracking down at your local library.