Not Just Hip

When a writer goes looking for young Turks (my words, not Scott’s), you should expect the story to include some brash quotes (writers are supposed to have a chip of ice in their hearts, after all). On the other hand, we’re librarians, so how brash can we be? Scott Carlson’s Young Librarians, Talkin’ ‘Bout Their […] » about 300 words

Don’t Mistake Me (Please)

Over at KLE’s Web 2.0 Challenge I was surprised to learn:

Both Bisson and Stephens are so excited about this concept of Web 2.0 they have not taken a good look at what they can’t do for our libraries. …with all this new technology we can not forget that what is the most important in our libraries is the personal touch. We are one of the few institutions left that still offers individual attention.

KLE is doing some cool things, so I can tell this isn’t an offhanded rejection of Web 2.0 concepts, but the criticism makes me feel as though I’ve been missing my target somehow.

We wouldn’t accept poor service at the desk or over the phone, why should we treat our patrons so poorly online? I don’t think we’ve yet figured out what “good service online” is yet, but that’s what I’ve been focused on. Make no mistake, the future of libraries demands outstanding service everywhere we serve our users.

[tags]web 2.0, library 2.0, lib20, service, quality, libraries, criticism, online, good service, good service online[/tags]

Building Libraries With Free Software

Sarah Houghton-Jan‘s review of my LTR on open source software for libraries reminded me I wanted to blog this related piece I’d written for American Libraries. Tim Spalding cocks his head a bit as he says it to emphasize the point: “ is social software.” However we categorize it, Spalding’s baby has become a darling […] » about 700 words

First They Ignore You, Then They Ridicule You, Then They Fight You

It’s an aside to Kathryn Greenhill’s larger point, that all this 2.0 stuff is about a shifting power to the user, but she places L2 somewhere on Ghandi’s continuum of change between ridicule and fight. The photo above (original by Monster) is in support of Greenhill’s larger point: control is shifting. Trains were once seen […] » about 200 words

Is It That They Don’t Care? Or Just Don’t Want It From Us?

&tJessamyn asks “do library users care about our new initiatives?” It comes from a survey done by the Wisconsin Public Library ConsortiumOn one hand, if you interpret the results literally you could make a decision to reject technology and focus on building a collection around personal enjoyment for Wisconsin residents. On the other hand, these […] » about 600 words

Presentation: Bringing The Library To The User

I’m at AALL in New Orleans as part of a program organized by June Liptay and Alan Keely, speaking with U of R’s David Lindahl and NCSU’s Emily Lynema. From the description (see page 5 in the program): Traditional library online catalogs are being marginalized in an increasingly complex information landscape. …Better methods are needed […] » about 100 words

Presentation: Transforming Your Library With Technology

ContentsYour library is more than books...your website should be tooYour website is not a marketing’s a service point.Culture is are our libraries.ExamplesPart of the Transformation Track, Transforming Your Library, and Your Library’s Future, with Technology, program coordinators Alan Gray and John Blyberg (both of Darien Public Library) described it like this: Technology can […] » about 600 words

“as dead as Elvis”

“The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis,” Needham said. The whole “gestalt” of the academic library has been set up like a church, he said, with various parts of a reading room acting like “the stations of the cross,” all leading up to the “alter of the reference desk,” where “you make supplication and if you are found worthy, you will be helped.”


Open Source Software and Libraries; LTR 43.3, Finally

The most selfish thing about submitting a manuscript late is asking “When is it going to be out?” So I’ve been waiting quietly, rather than trouble Judi Lauber, who did an excellent job editing and managing the publication. Ryan and Jessamyn each contributed a chapter, and I owe additional thank yous to the full chorus […] » about 400 words

Poke Your Tech Staff With Sticks, And Other Ideas

What a difference a year makes? Jessamyn was among those sharing her stories of how technology and tech staff were often mistreated in libraries, but there’s a lot of technology in this year’s ALA program (including three competing programs on Saturday: The Ultimate Debate: Do Libraries Innovate, Social Software Showcase, and Transforming Your Library With […] » about 600 words

Is Automated Metadata Production Really The Answer?

(It’s old, but I just stumbled into it again…) Karen Calhoun’s report, The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools, included a lot of things I agree with, but it also touched something I’m a bit skeptical about: automated metadata production. Some interviewees noted that today’s catalogs are put together […] » about 300 words

Usability, Findability, and Remixability, Especially Remixability

It’s been more than a year since I first demonstrated Scriblio (was WPopac) at ALA Midwinter in San Antonio. More than a year since NCSU debuted their Endeca-based OPAC. And by now most every major library vendor has announced a product that promises to finally deliver some real improvements to our systems. My over-simplified list […] » about 800 words

My Boston Library Consortium Presentation

Speaking Thursday at the Boston Library Consortium‘s annual meeting in the beautiful Boston Public Library, my focus was on the status of our library systems and the importance of remixability. My blog post on remixability probably covers the material best, but I define it as: Remixability is the quality of a system or data set […] » about 200 words

Moving and Shaking and Shimmy-ing

It’s sort of late by now, and others have been offering their congratulations to me for a while (thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you), but I only just got the paper copy myself and this morning had a chance to browse the list.

Mover & Shaker alumnus John Blyberg asked me if I preferred moving or shaking better, but now that I’ve seen the names and read the profiles, I can say I’m just proud to be among such a distinguished group.

Congratulations all, and thank you to all who nominated me. I am honored.

This Blog Is For Academic And Research Purposes Only

This sign on a computer in the Paul A. Elsner Library at Mesa Community College caught Beth‘s eye and garnered a number of comments, including one from theangelremiel that seems to mark one of the most elusive aspects of Library 2.0. they know that none of their classes require gaming Excerpting the above as a […] » about 200 words

Casual Friday: The ALA Midwinter + Music Video Edition

The above circulated a while ago, but I post it today to recognize this special ALA Midwinter edition of Casual Fridays. And while I’m not suggesting libraries will or should become 21st century dance halls, Lichen’s title, “1.0 -> 2.0, the video” has some resonance here.

And on the theme of music videos that tell stories comes Miranda’s Yo Te Dire, which I like both because it’s funny and because I’m instantly attracted to foreign pop culture.

Competition, Market Position, and Statistics

Watch this video a few times. It’s funny. It’s catchy. It’s kitsch. Now watch it a few times more. The ad, for a Lada VAZ 2109, appeared sometime in the 90s. It reflects the influence of MTV and other cultural imports from the West, but the details betray it’s command economy provenance. The snow appears […] » about 400 words

Welcome To Your World

In pointing this out to me, Lichen noted “if this isn’t evidence that Web2.0 is an undeniable force, I don’t know what is.” “This,” of course, is Time Magazine‘s announcement of the 2006 Person of the Year. And the answer is you. Yes, you. Michael Stephens was right on top of it, pulling this quote: […] » about 300 words

Woot! Woot!

The press release: Making Libraries Relevant in an Internet-Based Society PSU’s Casey Bisson wins Mellon Award for innovative search software for libraries PLYMOUTH, N.H. — You can’t trip over what’s not there. Every day millions of Internet users search online for information about millions of topics. And none of their search results include resources from […] » about 600 words

Linkability Fertilizes Online Communities Redux

I certainly don’t mean this to be as snarky as it’s about to come out, but I love the fact that Isaak questions my claim that linkability is essential to online discussions (and thus, communities) with a link: Linkability Fertilizes Online Communities I really don’t know how linkability will build communities. But we really need […] » about 300 words

Library Camp East 2006

LCE2006 was a success. Let me quickly join with the other participants to offer my appreciation to John Blyberg and Alan Grey for all their work planning the event, as well as Darien Public Library director Louise Berry and the rest of the library for hosting the event.

Side note: Darien is a beautiful town, but we all have to learn to pronounce the name like a local.

Michael Golrick and John Blyberg each have a number of photos on Flickr, and I’m jealous of those like Lichen Rancourt who can live-blog events like this. I’m still digesting what I learned, but at least I can wash it down with a sip from my new LCE mug.

Further discussion will continue, as always, in the blogosphere, in the L2 Wiki, and just about anywhere else librarians gather.

In addition to all that material, let me offer some screenshots and notes from my short preface to the discussion about OPACs. (And, I hope my words were clearer than the pictures snapped of me at the time — vis: one and two).

WPopac Reloaded

I’ve re-thought the contents of the record and summary displays in WPopac. After some experimentation and a lot of listening, it became clear that people needed specific information when looking at a search result or a catalog record. So now, when searching for Cantonese slang, for instance, the summary displays show the title, year, format, […] » about 400 words