Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Reactive vs. proactive. And as the rate of change gets faster, we're pushed further and further into reactive modes.

What am I blathering on about? I just had a patron call asking about Playaways, a not-so-new digital audiobook format. She wanted to know if my library carried them; I'd never even heard of them before.

A little searching online made me feel only slightly better. Playaways have been out since 2005, and Illinois was the first library system to pilot the format (second paragraph from the bottom). OHIONET has a comprehensive FAQ about them for its member libraries, while the Rocky River (OH) Public Libraries and the Larchmont (NY) Public Library are offering them to patrons.

I'll cut myself some slack: I've only really been closely following tech trends since late last fall, so I would have missed much of the brouhaha about Playaways. And yet, if I can miss a new technology such as this, how many other less-savvy librarians out there have missed this and more?

Yes, professional development is much on my mind, for personally professional as well as generally professional reasons. I just gave that presentation that stressed that we need to be "...aware of as much of the rest as we can." So now, I live true to my own words.

So....Playaways. Very neat, very tidy, no moving parts and easy to circulate. Easy also to lose and break in a transit bag, but that's no reason not to have them for the same reasons that we have books on CD and even still on cassette. If you haven't already checked them out, give one a whirl and see if it'll fly at your library.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A new vision of a book website

There's been a neat trend running around the 'nets recently -- low-tech presentations disseminated electronically. I've seen Post-Its TM, whiteboards, scribbled-on bits of paper and other real-world communication tools, captured by digital camera and incorporated into the design of a site.

Here's one promoting a new collection of short stories:

No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July. [link courtesy of my friend John]

I won't try to explain it...just go there and work your way through it. It only takes a few minutes, and what's most fun about it is the seamless way she includes Flickr-style hotlinking into the imagery. Fun, easy and so effective.

It's also compelling, because it embodies the 'Naked Conversation' envisioned by Scoble and Israel (from their book by the same title). This is a real person, showing us a bit of her real life in celebration and promotion of her newest work. There's no PR firm, no marketing push behind it. Just someone telling us about something she's done.

Of course, the next obvious question is: Where does this sort of thing fit in to library work? Is there anything beyond simply using it as a low-threshold entry into doing Flickr- or YouTube-based training? What else might this work towards?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Managing Online InfoClutter with RSS

[A note on these columns: I'm writing for a wide variety of technology comfort levels, and I've only got a standard side of paper to do it in, so I don't tend to get too specific.]

Professional Developments: Taming the Online InfoClutter – Using RSS to Keep Current and Manage Overload

At the May Adult Services meeting, I demonstrated how I manage all of the electronic 'clutter' in my life. As you might have figured out from my previous columns here, there is a tremendous amount of online information published about librarianship today. So far, I've discussed why and some of what we need to keep on top of. This column showcases one example of how.

Whether we get our information from library publications, major news outlets or one of millions of blogs, there are too many sources to keep track of. More and more of these info providers are going electronic, and the latest addition to many web pages is a small orange square with white lines. That square is about to become your best tool in managing infoclutter: it’s a link for an RSS feed of that publication or blog.

RSS feeds allow you to subscribe to the latest posts and articles from a variety of sources, bringing the information to you rather than you having to go find it. You can use a feed reader such as Bloglines or Google Reader or the news section of My Yahoo or My AOL to collect and organize your various feeds. Creating the account usually consists of following the step-by-step instructions; I've found Bloglines to be one of the easier systems to use.

After you set up an account, you can treat your feed reader just like an individualized newspaper. Each feed is a section, and the various articles are contained within. Click on the feed you want to read, then skim down the list of article titles and leads and decide which you want to read in full. I don't read half of the things that come through Bloglines, but I do skim them and pick out the occasional idea or tool to look up later. If you want to save something to read it more thoroughly at another time, you can mark it "Keep New." To save a post on a particular topic, you can create a Clippings file for that subject and Clip and save the post there. There are more advanced features, but these are the most useful ones.

As you start out with reading feeds, I'd recommend one of two paths: 1) choose just a few feeds and get in the habit of reading them, adding more as time passes; or 2) subscribe wildly, and unsubscribe from the ones you’re just not keeping up with. Once again, the important piece is choosing a system that works for you. This is all about your needs and interests, and no one else is going to tell you you’re doing it right or wrong.

As librarians, we know how much information exists in the world, and we know that we can’t possibly keep up with it all. So the goal is to know about the things that interest, motivate and compel you, and to be aware of as much of the rest as you can.


Yahoo’s explanation of RSS feeds

A very comprehensive tutorial from Wizard Creek consulting

"Librarians Keeping Up and Making Time" by Emily at the Library Revolution blog

My Bloglines account, for one organizing scheme and blogs to read. If you'd like more information, please feel free to get in touch with me.

Free, online RSS readers:
Google Reader – works through a Google account
NetVibes – a more sophisticated customizable 'start' page
Yahoo Pipes – like NetVibes, but works through a Yahoo account

Friday, May 25, 2007

What is Library 2.0?

Over the past three months, I've been writing a column called "Professional Developments" for my professional staff association. The first column made it into this blog back in March, but I never posted the second (from April). I'm remedying that now, and will follow up with May's piece when I finish it.


Professional Developments: What is "Library 2.0"?

Hello, all. This is the second installment of "Professional Developments," a (hopefully) regular column on the hows and whys of keeping current in librarianship. Enjoy!

Back in January, the Boston Region announced a special series of continuing education courses titled "Library 2.0: Using Social Networking Tools to Meet Users Where They Are." The workshop topics included MySpace, wikis, Flickr, blogs, tags, RSS feeds, Second Life and more. With luck, many librarians were able to attend these presentations, because these tools are the fundamentals of a different way of interacting with the World Wide Web: Web 2.0. Static websites, email lists, bulletin boards and databases are usually considered to be Web 1.0 – information comes from a central source and is directed out at thousands or millions of users. Web 2.0 is much more interactive, full of sites where people can have discussions on different topics or write reviews of places and things. In addition, users can create their own content, filling the Web with their interests, personal stories and conversations.

If you're noticing a theme, you're not wrong. Web 2.0 is all about interactivity, about a constant discussion between involved parties. Companies talk with their customers, people talk with each other, experts talk with dedicated amateurs – the most important piece is that the conversation goes in both (or all) directions, all the time.

Library 2.0 takes the same principles and applies them to library service. By engaging with our patrons, both in person and online, we can find out what they think of us and include them in designing library services and tools. Yes, we've always done this with suggestion boxes, in-person conversations and advisory boards, but the tools available on the Web make it easier to reach a larger audience than ever before. Most importantly, the Web is one place where we can find the people it's been hardest to talk to: the people who've never walked in our doors. Through review sites, blogs, news feeds and online advertising, we have access to the eyes and ears of thousands of non-library-users. As an added bonus, these same tools let us interact more intimately with our current patrons, too.

Every day, something new is published about Library 2.0. I've found these articles, books and reading lists to be good starting points:

Library Journal article on Library 2.0:

"Into a New World of Librarianship" by Michael Stephens

"A Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto" by Laura Cohen, Academic Librarian in Syracuse

The Learning 2.0 program at the Public Library of Charlotte/Mecklenberg County

An interactive reading list on Library 2.0 at Squidoo

The Long Tail, Chris Anderson
Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble & Shel Israel
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott
Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service, Michael Casey & Laura Stavastinuk
Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technologies and Tomorrow's User, Nancy Courtney (June 2007)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

One quick link

My apologies for the radio silence, all. Life -- both professional and other-commitment related -- has gone completely off-the-charts-busy in the past few weeks. I've barely had time to breathe, let alone commit thoughtful words to the screen.

Tonight's no different, but I've got to share this one:

Copyright and fair use, explained using clips from Disney animated features. The amount of work that went into this is astounding, and while it's hard to follow, it's fabulously done.

Found via Boing Boing

Saturday, May 5, 2007

MLA blog post roundup

Well, I was afraid that the double-posting would fall apart at some point. Instead, here are links back to all my posts on the MLA Conference Blog. The conversation is already starting there, with some good comments.

I highly recommend reading through the whole blog, or searching the categories that interest you. Twenty bloggers posted more than 100 posts in three days; it's an amazing source of information on what happened at the conference this year!


Technoschism: Reorganizing and Restructuring Libraries for the Real Future (second keynote with Stephen Abram)

Tiny Tech: How to use technology sensibly in small libraries (Jessamyn West)

Meet the Millennials: a group interview facilitated by Stephen Abram


Future of MARC: the Challenges and Opportunities of 21st Century Cataloging

Perspectives On Liberty: a panel discussion

[I lost my post from the "Meet Your Youth Services Consultants!" panel due to battery issues. I'll post the link here when I've re-created it.]


Equal Access Libraries in Massachusetts: Meeting the Needs of Youth, Older Adults, Boomers and Health Consumers through Community-Responsive Programming

Radical Reference: Community Librarianship and Free/Open Source Technology

"Is Reference Dead?" A Round Table discussion

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Future of MARC -- Dr. Bill Moen

[I missed the first panel this morning, which was on the future of cataloging. I think this was a sufficient replacement. Eye-opening.]

Future of MARC: the Challenges and Opportunities of 21st Century Cataloging
[Eventually, the link to this presentation will be on the MLA Conference website]

  • "We need to be adding value through our practices....We'd better be saving people time and money."
  • "We need to be meeting the needs of our users.
  • Less focus on the methods. Our methods should be invisible and unobstructive. How can we take our structures and hide them, but not hide the power that they provide?

There's nothing wrong with thinking in terms of market share -- that's our reality. We no longer have a lock on the target market that we used to. We have a limited set of resources that are availble through our catalog, and now users can see how limited they are compared with everything else that's out there.

What do we mean when we say "MARC"?
Record format, as defined by ISO 2709/ANSIZ39.2, & structural elements of the format -- this is going to go away and be replaced by markup languages
Metadata scheme -- defined by MARC 21 and fields, subfields, indicators and their semantics

Approaching MARC's future:

Requirements for a record format/metadata scheme
Goldsmith & Knudson's Requirements:
Granularity -- how fine a detail can you get to
Transparency --
Extensibility --

Roy Tennant's Requirements (slide went by too fast)

McCallum's 10 Format Attributes
  • XML
  • Granularity
  • Versatility
  • Extensibility
  • Modularity
  • Hierarchy support
  • Crosswalks
  • Tools
  • Cooperative Management
  • Pervasive

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)
Produce a framework that would provide a clear, precisely stated and commonly shared understanding of what it is that the bib record aims to provide information about and what it is that we expect the record to achieve in terms of answering user needs.
Based on Entity-Relationship modeling (work, expression, manifestation, item / persons, corporate bodies)
An important part of the FRBR report was the focus on users & user tasks: find, identify, select, obtain
If bib records are not supporting user tasks, what's the point?

FRBR is introducing new vocabulary and a new understanding of the items we catalog. We're seeing the implementation of these ideas in new library catalogs.
We currently ask our users to put up with a lot of noise, lots of individual record, rather than letting them actively drill down with limited choices

Responding to recent developments
No AARC3; Resource Description and Access (RDA), which are more guidelines on content creation, and have separation from syntax or record format

Library Systems and Data Formats (wiki) -- grassroots efforts to look at

  • Essential in library applications
  • Variety of metadata schemes
  • Variety of functions and services supported
  • Increasing use of machine-generated metadata - there aren't enough catalogers in the world
  • Role of handcrafted metadata needs continuing review & assessment

These are not threats to the livelihood of catalogers/TS librarians. There's plenty of work around, but they have to change the approach to handcrafted metadata -- where's the value added of that hands-on work.

Looking at empirical data
The cataloging record you create is an artifact that reflects decisions, policies and choices, and can be investigated to see patterns and needs.
Catalogers create metadata that can be very rich (MARC).

There had never been a study before of exactly how catalogs actually construct MARC records and what they actually do. So, Dr. Moen did one.
There is a *lot* of redundancy in the records. The 80/20 rule holds: 4% of fields/subfields accounted for 80% of occurrences, 96% of all fields accounted for 20% occurrences (where occurrence = data in the field)

MCDU Project -- Reports containing results of analysis of utilization, commonly used elements
OCLC gave them the entire WorldCat as of May 2005, so they're working from the whole dataset
82 hours for a script to process and load the records as MySQL and 258 GB = mad data set
Millions of book records
Categories of Questions: General profile of the dataset & actual numbers of occurrences
167 fields used
14 fields accounted for 80% of all occurrences
21 fields accounted for 90% of all occurrences
110 fields occur in less than 1% of all records
"656 a:" occurred in 1 record of out 7.5 million. Why?

They also looked at field/subfield combinations. They keep finding a small core of elements that are commonly used -- are these what catalogers should be focusing on? Is this what the machine-generated cataloging should be focusing on?

Making Sense of Numbers
Not interpreting the value of an individual fields, but looking at patterns and larger recommendations/guidelines. Comparing the data to FRBR user tasks.Is there a common core of elements that are used? Is there a threshold below which things just aren't used so much?

Are library catalogers providing data to support FRBR tasks?
In MCDU dataset, only 59 fields/subfields (13% of total) occur at or above the threshold of use in OCLC book records.

Questions for consideration
  • What is needed in a bib record? Are catalogers working too hard and creating stuff no one uses?
  • Support for four user tasks? In the context of FRBR, what does it mean to support a user task?
  • How can we use metadata for effective management of information resources?
  • How do your systems use the infrequently used data? What about the 62% of all fields used in less than 1% of records?
  • Can we argue persuasively for the cost/benefit for your existing practice?
  • Should the focus be on the high-value, high-impact, high-quality data in a few fields/subfields? Can we identify these? What would it mean to costs of cataloging to focus this way? What would this mean for training new catalogers?
  • Can MCDU results inform your local practices?
  • What metadata scheme will we use? It won't be MARC.
  • [missed one]

Confluence of change -- all of this data and the realities of life now mean that change will happen. It's just a question of when and will we be prepared?

Is the next study a look at which fields users are using? Is this useful to know? What data about how users search is useful? There have been a lot of studies done of how users search in the Search Engine world; how do these translate into the library field?

[Jenn sez: There are a lot of stunned heads in this audience. As a non-cataloger, I'm hoping this hasn't just caused heart attacks throughout the room.]

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Meet the Millenials -- facilitated by Stephen Abram

Meet the Millenials – Facilitated by Stephen Abram

2/3 girls, 1/3 guys, ranging in age from 12 to 16, all from the local Junior & Senior High Schools.

The classics are back, in a large way, and most of these kids are finding out about this stuff online.
Creating techno on computer & textures/layers stuff in SecondLife

MySpace or IM?
Kids are still talking to kids in person
"Scrapbooking, except on computer"
AIM, in person, on the phone
Jabber, IRC (personal server), AIM
Use AIM for homework

Planning Saturday night
Gotta be in advance, but friends plan late
As it comes along, last-minute
Phone, IM, yelling across the street

"If the internet is down, I go to the library"
Savvy – understands that you need to double-check information
Yahoo, Ask (preview function like Snap), Google
Different search engines bring up different websites
Don't like Wikipedia because it changes ... "the words that were supposed to be there"
Anything you want to find is there – but sometimes they don't provide a quick summary
Too much dialogue and not enough information
Sparknotes – not instead of reading but to get more out of the book
Google as a fact-checker
They're still using books, don't give up on it yet
Books can be faster

The kids mostly told us what we wanted to hear, but I think they were telling most of the truth – which was that they're citing things and not just copying and pasting.
Automated citation sites:
KnightCite --
Son of Citation Machine --

Checking multiple sources
  • They do it. They rely on multiple sources – 'whatever ends up in the most places is obviously the right information.'
  • They eventually go to the library, if they can't determine validity themselves.
  • Not looking at the details, but the main points to compare sites. [Hmm, that could be a bit unnerving.]
  • .edu or .gov means an educational/governmental institution and they're more reliable
  • Names you recognize – NYT, Boston Globe,,, Enchanted Learning, "organizations you heard of"
  • Use an odd number of sites so you don't have a split vote

[I really wanted to see some more urban kids on this kind of panel. I know why they aren't here, but I'm sure we'd be hearing some different answers from city kids.]

Last book you read for fun
Maximum Ride, first & second books
Princess Frog, Secret Language of Girls
Hardy Boys
Hidden Life of Otto Frank
Enchantment: Life of Audrey
Dispatches from the Edge
Virtual Light
Pillars of the Earth
"can't remember" – They just don't get it : how Washington is still compromising your safety, and what you can do about it, David Hunt
Shade's Children
Where do they get it?: Friends & family, library (public & school)

Talk about the library
Southbridge – very organized,
Junior high library – stickers for organization, quiet & easier to think
Senior high library – the books are ancient and there's no selection
They go, but sometimes it's not as much fun as they'd like.
**Kids can tell when an institution puts money into the books; they are paying attention to this stuff**
A few of them were overdue in a serious way, so they can't check out books. No fines for kids, perhaps?
Lots of kids buy their books, the ones who blow through books get them from the libraries

Where do you get your books?
Barnes & Noble

[The Second Lifer kid does steampunk avatars; I'm so excited!]

PS2, Xbox, GameCubes, Wii (Prince of Persia, Twilight Princess, Zelda)
Desktops -- WOW ("my dad plays and he's at level 35"),
"Second Life is more of a metagame"
NetStorm, "Evercrack"
Call of Duty 1 & 2, Medal Storm
Star Wars MMORPG
Sports games & racing games (girls & boys)
Still playing PS1 games
Nintendo DS (virtual pet games), SuperMarioBrothers
GameBoy (car games)
Sims (its the creation that's the fun)
2-week lifespan on games [here's a perfect lending opportunity!]
Solitaire on the computer
SuperSmashBrothers Melee
"I have to be active" -- so she likes games that get her up and moving

Better off, the same or worse off than your parents?
Dealing with being without your parents
Not necessarily better off, but you want to be in a better place
Wants to have her own business in interior design
Depends on what your parents do: dad's a prosthestist & mom works at UMass Medical Center
It won't matter: I just want to do the things that matter to me, "I want to be happy"
Geography: wanting to stay near parents
"Whatever, as long as I'm not homeless"
Make a lot of money, hopefully doing what I want to be doing
"Population is going too fast, so there won't be enough jobs for people. I'm hoping I can just work."

[It took to the end of the one and a half-hour session to get to the poop joke.]

Lots of votes for not being part of any party because they're all flawed
More important to see what ideas help us, makes our country better -- "It doesn't matter who comes up with it, or how much it's going to cost, just how much it's going to help us."
"I can't tell the difference."
"Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show" are the #1 & #2 shows for millenials.

About half YouTube watchers

Is the world going to be a better place?
Darfur - there's no stopping it
Environment - global warming
"One good thing about being a pessimist: you're always right or pleasantly surprised."
People are going to be just fighting to survive
They hear the information from parents, email newsletters, news, school
Fire In the Sky - Heinlein
Normal dinner conversation
Daily lives / scheduling
What did you learn in school?
What's going on in the world and what your opinion is about it.
Current events

How many kids actually have family dinners? Once or twice a week, almost every day, once every few months, holidays,

If we got rid of overdues, would you use it?
"You'd never get your books back"
It might be good to have it like Netflix: no fines, but you can't get the next one until you return the first one
More time to get through a book so you can actually finish it.
If there's a book you want, someone else might still have it and then you can't get it.
What about paying fines with credit cards? Research

Every single one of them has a phone

What can we do for you?
Can you increase the diversity of books?
More scifi
Wider selection of movies
Electronic books - text-based, not audio
Less technology, more human interaction
Historical novels
Cafe ("my mom told me to say this")
Brighter colors
Age-appropriate sections

Tiny Tech -- Jessamyn West

Tiny Tech: How to use Technology Sensibly in Small Libraries

[Follow the link for the visuals from the talk]

Tech for small libraries can be as much about attitude as it is about the technology, or the lack thereof.

What is the real problem? Is it the tech or the attitude of librarians towards the tech?

"We're not good with computers." People have this perception that because they can do it, it's got to be easy. If they can't do it, it must be hard. No, it's really that computers make you nervous.

"IM shows you your friends can't spell.
Blogs show you that your friends are dull."

It's not about knowing everything about computers -- it's about a reckless amount of confidence and about knowing how to use the "help" function.

Search for the error message in Google/Ask/Yahoo and I'm sure you'll find the answer.

Question boards translate well into an online format.

Search for these blog posts:
"2.0 No-brainers for public libraries"
"No-tech 2.0 no-brainers for public libraries"

Offer a map -- look at your library with new (2.0) eyes.

The library is not just the walls that make up the library. The interactivity of web-tools makes

Email got destroyed for kids -- too slow, too spammy -- but still used by your patrons over 30. So have it and use it.

Choose your people to go with your tools. [Jenn sez: you don't need to have every librarian doing everything; play to individuals' strengths and interests]

Have umbrella/generic email address that can be redirected to individuals, and changed as needed. Use bounce-back messages to thank them for using your services and give them any additional information that may be useful.

Teach classes on getting and using email. A simple class, nothing fancy, the things you can do without thinking. This helps people want to go back to their library and makes them feel like they can learn new things at their comfort level.

Instant messaging (IM)
  • IM is useful to talk to the 'kids' but also by increasing number of adults. [Jenn sez: my mom (age 60) uses AIM to talk to my baby sister and me]
  • (BPL was used as an example of the problem of using 24/7 Reference and having non-local people answering local questions)
  • (web-based IM client) and (allows you to place a Meebo box on your website)

Blogs, wikis, RSS -- "It's a box; you can type in it."
Blogs -- rotating content, regular doses of links, commentary and discussion
-- use it to have an easily-adaptable/changeable section on the front page of your website. Allows for a higher level of interactivity with your patrons.
RSS -- read more blogs, faster
Wikis -- online tools for collaboration whatever, editable by anyone [data]
-- stick your town's homepage URL in your town's entry in Wikipedia
-- use it for in-house or public use

Social Software: the new hotness
  • A less dorky way to network, no matter what your age is.
  • MySpace (all ages, really), LinkedIn (business networking, good for consultants), LiveJournal, Facebook, Friendster, Flickr, etc.
  • All of these places give you an opportunity to interact with people (your users/patrons) as people.

Other People's Projects -- Open Source software
Free and redistributable
You can get support for some systems, but not others.
Karen Schneider says, "Open source is free like kittens." You'll always have to spend $$$, but you don't have to just be sending money to some company somewhere.
Use Ubuntu (free OS), OpenDocs (free document software), Firefox (free browser) and other free software to provide service to your users.

Mashups and open APIs
Application Programming Interface (API) allow folks who know how to code to create new web tools using already existing tools.
Use something like Google Maps to show where your library locations are, embed that in your library web page.
Every picture on Wikipedia is copyright free to use as you will.

Connect people
Libraries can provide free wifi for a small cost every year

You're not going to get the true technophobes to love technology – don't try to force him to. Match skills/interests to job requests.
The low-end options aren't going to put you out in the cold. They might save you money that you can spend on other things (like books and candy!)

Technoschism: Stephen Abram

Technoschism: Reorganizing and Restructuring Libraries for the Real Future
Stephen Abram, Sirsi-Dynix

Slow change? My eye.
[While the technology rebooted, we discussed Google and how search engine optimizers manipulate the hits you get. News to me, which is sad. Must learn more about this.]
Library core skills is not information - libraries improve the quality of the question and the experience
Information Ocean, not highway. Exploration space, not a collection space.
We must be about more than the books, we must be about the entire experience.
"We librarians have to learn when we study something to death, Death was not the original goal!"

  • Epaper & eReaders withfullsize screens
  • Light-based keyboards & fullsize monitors
  • Projectors the size of sugar cubes
  • June 2007 - every cable and phone wire will have switched over to broadband
  • iReader
  • iPhone & other full-service phones (G3 standard)M/li>
  • Web on a credit card
  • Everything is getting smaller - we need to get there in the first wave

We can't teach people to are we going to teach them Boolean logic?

  • Advice #1: Go XML for Dominant Personal Services -- XML senses the device and changes to fit
  • All that matters is: Community, Learning, Interaction -- he collected stories to create personas and there was no overlap between the stories the librarians told about what was important and what the users said was important
  • Intention Paths -- is your library website a closed Swiss Army knife? Make sure that your website information such that it works
  • You can't make it too simple

  • Advice #2: Understand JSR168, Portlets and RSS
  • 250 million books go online in the next five years -- what then? A chapter and paragraph-level economy on books, and how do we integrate ourselves into that?
  • Get our heads out of the book -- books aren't at risk, librarians are at risk
  • Get realistic about the role of reading in electronic environments

Stephen really serves Google, but only in the way of enlightening us. If half of what he says is true, Google knows all.]

  • Advice #3: Geton the OpenURL and FedSearch Wagon -- give yourself and your users search options that don't harvest your information in the process of helping you search
  • Let Google do the Who, What, Where, When questions. Librarians can focus on the How and Why questions. Let librarians focus on their specialties and expertises and promote themselves, let them become experts.
  • What librarians do best is context management, not content management

  • Advice #4: GPS & Broadband: Deal With It, Act Local?
  • Google knows where your users are and can tailor their services to the local level.

  • Advice #5: Be ready for advanced social networks
  • Are you ready for Web 2.0/Library 2.0?
  • Libraries are about communities and environments, not single-functions like the social software
  • We need to create environments and provide information that delight our users
  • We need to have a discussion about this, not about making OPAC suck less
  • Use and wikis to share and preserve the knowledge of reference libriarans

Get your texthead to nexthead: What is your strategy for dealing with the death of DVDs, CDs, cassettes, etc.?

Types of learners: experience learners, visual learners, audio learners, text learners. How do we support the full range of learning, of learning styles?

  • Advice #6: Get social
  • BiblioCommons -- Canada's answer to all of this.
  • We have an entire generation socially networking for life. We need to be out there -- seems to be one of the strongest contenders.
  • has a Library 2.0 group.
  • ActiveWorlds and SecondLife virtual worlds getting thousands of questions a night, -- there is a huge library presence: teaching, answering questions, book discussions.....everything that we do in Real Life we do there.
  • Magazine Content, News's all becoming social. How do we insert ourselves into the social content map?

  • Advice #7: Get political
  • Become an advocate in all the places that we are being social
  • These millenials will be voting on our bond issues in the next ten years, we NEED them

  • Advice #8: Reorganize
  • E-learning
  • Information Commons
  • Learning Commons
  • Community Integration
  • Reference Cowboys
  • Virutal Operations and Branches -- your virtual visitors are completely different than your in-person visitors

  • Advice #9: Get Conversational
  • Instant Messaging reference *works* -- Thomas Ford Memorial Library gets 50% of their total reference through IM
  • Cha-Cha
  • IM is better than email for reference

  • Advice #10: Increase our HR ability to adapt
  • Everything is a with them -- we learn through play
  • Use the PLCMC Lerarning 2.0 model as a structure to play in
  • "information literacy" courses are like "ugly salons"
  • Use the same list as a checklist of things you can do
  • The culture of the library changes as this happens
  • Build a petting zoo in the library so that the public can learn to play on these technologies

Brains have changed in millenials (3rd shift in brain mapping). We need to shift our ways of providing services to match their brains.

SchoolRooms -- built based on reports on how millenials think. User-centered design.

Are you ready for Imagineering the Library? Are we ready to be the purple cow?
It's the staff that distinguishes us from the search engines? People live in the foothills of the information ocean, and libraries can be there.

Change for our users in the context of learning and community.

[Wow, Stephen Abram is wonderful. I'm glad I've finally gotten the chance to see him speak.]

Where's Jenn?

Hi, all! For the next three days, I'll be blogging from the lovely Sturbridge Host Hotel, home of the 2007 Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference.

As you can tell from the lack of posts, life's been a bit busy lately, mostly with non-library stuff. I'll go into more on that in a bit, but for now, I just wanted to set the stage for the next series of posts.

I'll be double-posting, both here and over at the MLA Conference Blog, so you can follow along wherever you choose. I'm one of a dozen bloggers here (another six are sitting at tables around me) posting to the conference blog, so you'll have a variety of opinions and observations to choose from.

Thanks, much, and here we go!