Friday, April 27, 2012

Please note that this blog has been officially retired. Please follow along with my writing at, and on Twitter at @jenniferkoerber. Thanks much, and see you in the ether!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A quick thanks

My thanks to Deborah Elizabeth Finn, who not only gave me kudos for some of my consulting work, but also points out the valuable possibilities for collaboration between nonprofit technology workers and librarians.

To my librarian readers - what ideas spark when I suggest offering our information organization skills to local (or not so local) nonprofits? How else can we help our communities in this way?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Presentations from Internet Librarian

Catching up is hard to do, it's true. Just in time for your weekend perusal, here are the presentations I gave at Internet Librarian back in October.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Internet Librarian, ahoy!

And, that's really about it. Check out my schedule and see where I'll be, give or take a turn down on the boardwalk.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Library Day in the Life

For at least today and tomorrow, I'll be participating in Library Day in the Life, a neat view into the working lives of information professionals of all stripes. I'll be updating via Twitter, since that's about my attention span.

Follow me at @eclecticlibrary and see what I do all day. I promise - no lunch blogging.

Or, follow the whole merry crew.

Monday, July 19, 2010


On Friday, I participated in my first T is For Training podcast/chat session and it was a hoot and half. Chatting about social media in libraries and how we can bring training to patrons wherever they may be. You won't hear my voice on the podcast, but you might next time.

So, to anyone visiting via the T is for Training page - Hallo!

As a quick update, I've recently switched positions at the BPL from Generalist/Acting Branch Manager to Web Services Librarian. I've been settling in to the new job for the past few weeks, and the nascent blog posts are starting to compose themselves in my head. Watch this space....

Also, I'll be attending and speaking at Internet Librarian in October, so if you're going to be there take a gander at my schedule and say hi!

Finally, I'm looking for good library-focused examples of social media guidelines and web-writing style guides, either as combined documents or separately. If you've got a good one to share or point at, let me know.

Ciao, and you'll be seeing more of me now.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Managing Online Life link list - Part I

Hi, all. I'm speaking today (in about 4 hours) at the Massachusetts Library Association's annual conference about "Managing Your Online Persona." I'll have a link to the presentation up on this blog soon. While you wait, check out a few articles on how you create and maintain your online professional presence. Enjoy!

Crafting an Online Persona by Craig Anderson (slideshare)

Who Really Owns Your Social Media Persona? by Drew McClelland

Fired for Facebook and Twitter by Phil Gerbyshak (and make sure you read through the comments for more)

The Psychology of Social Media: Can a visible brand ruin your life?" by Jennifer Leggio

How to Friend Mom, Dad and Your Boss on Facebook....Safely by Sarah Perez

Our Emotional Lives in Social Media by Aliza Sherman

A Guide to Protecting Your Information Privacy on the New Facebook by Jay Hathaway

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Digital Commonwealth, here I come!

Evening, folks. Since I won't have my laptop with me at the conference tomorrow, I'm posting a link to the presentation I'm making at Digital Commonwealth's 4th Annual Conference tonight. For your pre-reading pleasure:

Reaching Patrons: Online Outreach for Libraries

Enjoy, and I hope to see many of you tomorrow at DigiComm, mid-April at Computers in Libraries or at the Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference at the end of April. A busy spring!

Monday, December 28, 2009

End of year thoughts

In another forum, I was asked:

You have a less "books=sacred objects" view than many of the people we know in common. Would you say your view is common among librarians of tour acquaintance, or are you an outlier there (too)? Have you always felt that way about books or did you come to it along the way?

Excellent question. To be clear, I believe that individual books can be sacred objects - important/rare editions, religious texts, original manuscripts, individual inscriptions, etc. - but that the format of any physical manifestation of ideas isn't sacred in and of itself. Books are ultimately just collections of glue and paper and cloth; it's the concepts they hold or the meaning we imbue them with that can make them sacred.

In particular, I believe that everyday books are meant to be engaged with, interacted with and responded to. For someone who's a tactile and kinetic learner, this means that I have to write out my thoughts and responses for that engagement to happen; the most convenient, immediate and relevant place to do that is in the text itself. I write in books all the time, and prefer to own the books that really speak to me so I can do so without guilt. I've always worked this way, back into middle school; in college, I preferred to buy the most written-in, highlighted books I could find to continue the conversation the previous owner(s) had started. Marginalia fascinates me, and its place in history is vital. Writing in library books does have historical precedent, too, but I'm less okay with that due a strong "if it doesn't belong to you, you don't get to permanently change it" ethic.

Amongst librarians, there are far more folks in the "books are just paper" camp than you'd think. I'm certainly not an outlier there. Not everyone is as enthusiastic about it as I am, but most of us have to recognize that fact for the very practical reason that we cannot house all of the books in the world forever. Libraries are not warehouses and not all libraries are even archives or research collections. Each individual title that comes onto our shelves gets chosen for its relevance and usefulness to our patrons. Periodically, we review the evidence of that continued relevance and usefulness - number of total check-outs, most recent check-out, date of publication, wear and tear - and when it's become obvious that something's no longer useful, it needs to go, to make room for something that is. Even archivists don't keep everything (ask my friend at the Congregational Library Archive); librarians of all stripes use their best judgment to determine what stays and what goes as a collection changes over time.

When librarians choose to get rid of an item, we do try and see if it can be useful to someone else somewhere, either by relocating the item to another location or by selling it. Then, when it's falling apart beyond repair, or when mold or bugs or water or scratches have damaged it beyond use, the item gets recycled or trashed. Like any other object in our lives, books and DVDs and CDs can carry more negative weight than positive weight; when that happens, it's time for them to go in the most environmentally sound way possible.

All that said, it's occasionally fun for me to watch patrons squirm when I suggest that the paperbacks they've carefully stored in a New England fieldstone basement for the past 30 years are best off destined for the recycling box or trash barrel. Sure, some collector somewhere might want them and they might have some historical value....but they could also give everyone who touches them an upper respiratory illness or contact dermititis. People are more important than books, always. Not necessarily ideas (V for Vendetta and Farenheit 451), but always more important than the physical paper object.


After writing all this, I found a deeply practical (if occasionally defensive) article on What Books You Could Live Without in the NY Times. Read through it all, and the comments below, for some specific criteria in what might stay and what might go as you weed your own collections.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who Am I Online? Part I at CMRLS

Here's the presentation link for tomorrow's workshop at the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System: "Who Am I Online? Part I: Creating a Consistent Personal or Institutional Identity."

I was very happy to note that all of my examples had either stayed precisely the same or improved (as examples good or ill) for my purposes. I'm happy to update a presentation with current information, but these were particularly good illustrations of my points.