a little omg and response to some gaming in libraries

Librarians play games “on the clock”. News show flips out. Locals talk to their representatives. Nebraska Library Comission produces 27 page report explaining what went on.

The Library Commission‟s actions in acquiring gaming equipment and a few representative games is proper and in accord with the agency‟s state statutory mission and its purposes in introducing new technologies, techniques and providing information and instruction in the use of these technologies. Innovation requires latitude in researching, examining and use of new and emerging technologies to evaluate their usefulness and benefits. That is the purpose and motivation behind the Commission‟s purchase of gaming equipment.

Read the whole report, it’s really worthwhile. [via]

Library Journal’s Star Libraries – show me the data

Library Journal has been making an effort to open up more, make more types of content available. I’ve been enjoying following Josh Hadro on Twitter. This was particularly useful when their Star Libraries report came out. Vermont has five libraries on the list [yay!] and I was trying to figure out how this compared to other states, by population and/or by sheer numbers. Josh went back and forth with me a few times pointing to other ways the data was displayed to see if any were helpful. What I was looking for was a list — similar to the Movers and Shakers list we were always agitating for — but I got close. The data is available, among other ways

It’s hard to tell how all these pages are related to each other — this page is the best start page I found — and each page lets you comment which is also a little on the confusing side. I asked about where to find everything on one page and I guess you can’t do it. Library Journal staffers are hampered by a CMS that doesn’t really allow them to make decent links between things and whether it’s software or “wetware” the link they offered in a comment wasn’t even one I could click. So, yay hooray for the winning libraries and a “let’s do better next time” nudge for decent information design for this report next year.

Evan Farber 1922-2009

My sister is an Earlham college graduate and she passed along the sad news of Evan Farber’s death. The college has written a lovely obit for him and a memorial page where people can share their own memories of him which many people have. I’ve been enjoying reading them and curious to learn more about some of the stories…. “who of my EC generation can forget that picture of Evan leaning back in a chair up against the newly installed electronic security system with a machine gun across his lap.”

Evan’s leadership in college librarianship ran counter to the conventional wisdom of the time and he spoke, consulted and wrote prolifically to counter those accepted ideas. Perhaps his most famous thesis, that “the library is not the heart of the college, the teaching-learning process is,” not only rankled his peers, but also caused them to rethink their professional roles and the services offered by their libraries. In debunking such conventional wisdom, Evan illuminated the real importance of the college library and articulated ideas that today have become central tenants of modern librarianship: the meaningful value of a college library is the degree to which it helps students learn and faculty teach. College librarians’ most important responsibility is to work closely with the teaching faculty to educate students about how to use information resources as a key part of their education. This is the legacy he leaves and the challenge he places before present and future librarians.