Friday, November 8, 2013
Librarians are often on the more liberal side of issues such as abortion, gun control, censorship, gay marriage. Conservative librarians exist but they say they have to 'lay low' when these issues are being discussed because their opinions aren't welcome. I remember one instance in a library in which I worked ... they wouldn't allow Chick Filet to provide freebies for a summer reading program because Chick Filet was anti gay marriage. After years of supplying the libraries with generous gifts whenever they were asked they were now shunned because they didn't have the 'correct' view of gay marriage. No neutrality being practiced there.
As I read the news I hear that President Obama is trying to get people to advertise and promote Obamacare. Athletes such as football players, and professionals such as librarians are being asked to promote the program.
I believe that any librarian who advocates for Obamacare or advocates against it is trashing the neutrality of librarianship that has been in place for centuries.
Our customers/patrons are a varied lot. We have Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Conservatives, Liberals, Tea-Party, Progressives, blacks, whites, asians, citizens, non-citizens, immigrants, wealthy, poor, gays, straights, adolescents, elders, men, women, children, soldiers, peace activists, etc. We serve the world!
Each of us have personal opinions about politics, religion, cultural issues - and we should. We have a right to hold personal opinions about every issue out there. However, as professional librarians our opinions should be left outside the libraries and our neutral attitude toward information should prevail inside libraries.
Fundamental Christians should be treated with the same respect as Atheists or Satan worshippers. The information you provide them should meet their needs and they should be helped without an attitude of censorship on your part. The information on the shelves or in the database should be handled in a neutral manner; it should be acquired by librarians who provide pro and con information on all subjects collected; it should be cataloged fully with appropriate subject analysis; it should be provided by the information librarians without bias.
In my Acquisitions and Collection Management class a liberal librarian said it was wrong for conservatives to bring their biases into the selection of materials. But later on in the class she stated it was her moral duty to 'educate' customers on how to think and to suppress conservative materials while selecting liberal materials. Do you see the bias here?
I sincerely hope NO professional librarian takes the bait and advocates for Obamacare as a librarian. I also sincerely hope NO professional librarian advocates against Obamacare as a librarian. What you do on your own time is your own business, but what you do as a professional librarian impacts the neutrality of our profession. If we allow one view to prevail in the library world - and condemn any opposition to it - we are no better than the Nazis who burned the books that didn't match their view.
The part of librarianship that currently fascinates me is information architecture -- how many of you out there have explored information architecture as a speciality? As I mentioned this line of librarianship fascinates me and I have begun to think of it as the central hub of modern libraries.
As a catalog librarian I was always involved in the organization of information but what we could do with MARC records didn't always translate well into the databases that were around at the time. Database developers start with their concept of what is needed and after square pegging it into a round hole they usually sell their product to libraries who then spend years trying to get the product to perform the tasks.
The Obamacare database debacle is a strong example of square-pegging a database to try to fit a specific use. It seems many companies can build a database but to build one that handles specific information requirements and heavy volumes of traffic is difficult. Whether you like Obamacare or not it is deeply mired in a dysfunctioning database and web site that seems to have been developed without the end user in mind.
It seems to me that the once "professional" tasks of reference, acquisitions, and cataloging are increasingly being handled by paraprofessionals. Private information companies in many instances are taking over much of the "professional" work and even the now "paraprofessional" work. The tasks of ordering books, media, and electronic resources and creating MARC records, authority control, subject analysis, etc. are currently being done in many instances by private companies.
If what I knew as professional librarian tasks are now delegated to paraprofessional librarians or outsourced to private companies - what constitutes professional librarianship today?
I would like to hear from you all! What area of librarianship are you involved in today and what are your tasks? Are they teaching Information Architecture in the Library Science and Information Science Degrees? If you don't think information architecture is the hub of library science today - or are you still involved in the "old school" of acquisitions, reference and cataloging?
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The interests of my retirement years have taken precedence to reminiscing about my library years or advocating new practices and procedures for the future of libraries.
The truth be known - most libraries I have been in recently just don't have a whole lot going for them. They have cut back on staff and collections and just don't seem to offer much in the way of book collections.
The public computers are often down and available online resources are limited.
And trying to get a disinterested library clerk, or an overworked librarian to engage you in a conversation and show even a little interest in you or the fact that you have come in to use the services is really hard to do.
Get in - get out - and leave me alone is the staff attitudes I have experienced.
So - what say ye all?
Is anyone reading this blog?
Have you enjoyed reading it in the past?
Do you want me to start up again and offer my insights into the library world of today?
Let me know - because soon this blog may be a thing of the past!
Friday, May 20, 2011
Some basic guidelines to consider:
Know your history - why do libraries exist? What are the basic services they have provided over the years?
How have these services changed through the years? New formats? Emphasis on collections? Audiences? When fiction books were first introduced into public library collections a hue and cry went up - librarians felt they had a moral obligation to provide educational materials, not sleazy fiction!! Was the cry any less loud when DVDs, and contemporary music CDs were introduced into the collections!? And now computer games - WHAT gaming in libraries - NO!! Oh yeah, gaming in libraries - bring that and more into our world!
What relevant services should we be offering our public? Some librarians still want to produce buggies and some want to branch out adding coffee shops, while others wouldn't mind becoming a local WAWA - get your books and gas up at the same time! Or even worse let's pretend we are bookstores and totally negate the information organization and retrieval principles and values that we have refined over the years.
How did you answer the earlier Question: What is our basic service?
In my opinion libraries open the doors of possibilities and life long learning to the world of people we serve. We do it within dwindling budget constraints and with competing industries that also provide what used to be our own little niche of knowledge.
- How would you define a modern library?
- List the top five services we should provide for our customers.
- How should technology impact and change the services we provide?
- Describe an innovative way libraries could capitalize on new technologies
- What advertising and marketing campaign would move us from the libraries of old to being the hot new APP in town? Imagine having a AD campaign with the astronauts using their mobile library APP to research sun spot data while in space!! Libraries to infinity and beyond !!
And remember ideas without actions are useless. Individual librarians will be the catalyst of change. As more librarians add their voices to OUR future and the future of all libraries we will improve as a profession. To remain silent is to cease to exist. OUR choice.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Background: (when libraries were full)
As a child I walked into our small town library (small town & small library!) with a pass from the elementary school to visit the library during school hours. For me I walked into Paradise! A Librarian came up to me and said she would tell me the secret to the library if I wanted to listen - Yes! Tell me the secret!! She introduced me to the card catalog - she taught me how to find subjects, tracings, series, titles, authors, and how to read all the information on the cards. She even took me to the stacks and showed me how the "call number" corresponded to the book on the shelves. She helped me find info for my school report and then she asked me what I liked to read and recommended some exciting fiction titles. In that just over a half hour visit she hooked a young girl on libraries. She provided library instruction, a reference interview, readers advisory, and signed me up for a student library card. She was a model of what an excellent librarian of the 50's & 60's should be. I don't remember her name but she changed my life forever that day.
That was the model for libraries for a very long time. A nice place for adults and children to quietly browse the stacks to find fiction and non-fiction titles to read.
LIBRARIANS and LIBRARIES have CLUNG to that model for way too long and their SLOW acceptance of modern technologies have created a disconnect with the public.
We are being REPLACED by TECHNOLOGY rather than EMBRACING technology to ENHANCE our services.
Some examples to make my point:
I went to the library the other day and the parking lot was full - I nearly didn't find a spot to park. I thought man, this is going to be a zoo to get in and checked out. In the library there were only a few people in the stacks - where were the people? They were in the meeting room for a "Driver Training" class! Yes the "Library as Place" IS important but....
At one library the stacks were empty but the computer banks were full - that's a GOOD thing -- that day the information customers needed was ONLINE and we had the computers ready for them to use -- the bad thing is that it took YEARS to provide WIFI capabilities to customers who wanted to bring their laptops, netbooks and iPads into the library to use. Libraries are too slow to adapt to technologies that would benefit library usage.
(a sweeping generalization follows)
Librarians for the most part still do not know how to use the current technologies. Older librarians do not Tweet, use Facebook or even understand the gaming world. I have attended trainings for librarians to learn these and other technologies but small numbers attend and even smaller numbers complete them. The sad fact is that many librarians are still saying "what do these technologies have to do with librarianship?" they attend the classes learn how to create blogs, wikis, and websites - then they don't USE the technologies! Chat rooms for reference Great, wait a minute you mean I have to do it? We HAVE a Reader's Advisory Library Blog?? - I didn't know that!
How many of you have head library administrators that long for the card catalog days? How many of you have library administrators that champion the wise use of technology to enhance library service?
Younger librarians and recent Library Science and Information Science graduates face an uphill battle to change the mindset of the entrenched, older librarians who cling to the old ways of doing things.
Reference librarians are content to show customers OLD information in books rather than go online to find current information on websites. Catalogers want to dot "i's" and cross "t's" while cataloging is being outsourced because of the backlogs they create by insisting on perfection. Selectors (bibliographers of old) don't understand the dynamics of information architecture and the VALUE of a well-cataloged item and insist that they simply need to provide new titles and customers will somehow automatically know how to find the titles in the online database.
How many library systems across America are positioning their libraries to meet the information needs of savvy technology users? I challenge ALL library systems to commit to brainstorming possibilities - what technology is out there? How can we use it to benefit libraries? What technology is being developed? How can we position ourselves early to use it? How can I train and hire staff that know how to wisely use technology for the benefit of libraries and information seekers?
Instead of closing the libraries for an All-Staff Training Day - how about closing the libraries for an All-Staff Possibilities Day - how can we harness the technology that is out there for the benefit of libraries, what is my part in the new process and how can the system train us to go forward with the proposals? Then make sure the wise uses get implemented!
How many librarians are getting CEUs and updating their degrees and their knowledge of information technology, information architecture, and learning how to USE technology in libraries. Don't just say "that's the job of the Internet librarian" It is the responsibility of each and every librarian to know how to use technology, to help implement it, and to identify ways it can be used in the future.
I had a brainstorm idea the other day:
What if individual titles in a collection were placed on Twitter to be reserved or checked out on Twitter? The same with Facebook. Save a few copies of the next best seller and make them available ONLY to the customers who use Twitter or Facebook.
Is it being done now? (if so comment and make it known to the readers of this blog!!) Can it be done? If it can't be done now what would it take to make it happen? If you are a library science or Information Science student right now make it a research project - make it happen!
We need to dream big, explore the "what if we..."
Libraries are increasingly becoming empty. We don't meet the information needs of our customers because we are too complacent. If you don't want to bring libraries into the 21st century and provide relevant online services as well as services in the libraries themselves -- then retire. You will be replaced by young, competent librarians who have been educated in the ways technology who know how to make libraries relevant to the populous.
Friday, April 22, 2011
I retired from Virginia Beach Public Library in 2010 and I am ready to once again blog about issues in the world of Libraries. My perceptions have changed as I am now looking at libraries from the outside looking in. Are libraries still relevant? Will we survive in this age of cutbacks and cutting corners? I intend to give my insights, rants, raves and love of libraries in this blog over the coming months and years.
I would like librarians of all types (including those employed as paraprofessionals, professionals, students in Library Science and Information Science programs, medical, corporate, private, legal, government city librarians, etc.) to challenge my posts and offer alternative ideas and even raise other issues!
I expect the intrinsic values of our profession will exist far into the future. The selection, organization, dissemination and retrieval of accurate information in logical, time-saving ways that harnesses technology and honors the right of all individuals to access uncensored information throughout the information spectrum will be valued by free citizens and envied by repressed citizens the world over. Long Live Librarianship!!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The goal of the program was to "help members of the Virginia Beach Public Library learn and improve their technology skills relating to Web 2.0". I met that goal as well as my own goal of learning how these technologies could be implemented in the Library 2.0 environment. Additionally, I had fun along the way!
When I started this training program I promised myself
- I would not quit.
- I would not allow privacy issues and "identity theft" issues to prevent me from experiencing and fully participating in each exercise.
- I would register [divulge my name and email - shock!] whenever a site required registration for participation. *This made the training was so much more valuable to me because I actually participated in the creation portions of the exercise, not simply reading about them. It was hands on experience!
- If I messed up or didn't get it - I would try until I did
- I would finish the course -- and I did!!
I kept all those promises to myself and gained a world of knowledge and experience that I would never have taken the time to learn on my own.
One of the most valuable components in the training was the ability to devote time to it. Workloads are demanding. No matter what agency you work at, it is almost impossible to devote time to continuing education. Continuing education is something that is done haphazardly at home, or if you are enrolled in a library science or information science degree program, something that you do as part of the assignments. The managers bought into the idea that work time would be devoted to the completion of this training. This was the enabling factor that made the training doable -- it could be done at work and it was not perceived as frivolous or extraneous to "the real work" that needed to be accomplished.
Learning 2.0 is training that encompasses learning about Web 2.0 technologies and encorporating them into the Library 2.0 environment.
My take-away from this experience is that libraries must value the Web 2.0 technologies and apply them successfully in the Library 2.0 environment -- if we don't libraries will become irrelevant in today's information marketplace and we will lose our customers to sites and information brokers that can function in this new world of information. Libraries must also value training such as this, that enables our staff to develop the technological skills necessary to meet our customers information needs in the 21st century.
What could we do differently to improve upon this program's format or concept?I think making it an instructor led classroom training may be of benefit. The class could meet in the ASLAB for a determined class period and timeframe. It could even be mandatory training for new hires, so they come into the library system ready to create programs and projects that capitalize on 21st century technologies.
Would I again participate in another discovery program like this in the future?
Absolutely without a doubt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sign me up!!
Good job Cindy and Nancy for providing this wonderful training opportunity - Thank-you!
Favorites for staff workflow and productivity:
- Blogging and Wikis were essential basics. I could see so many ways to incorporate these into my workflow and into VBPL in general that these two are probably at the top of my favorites list [and tagging, folksonomy and Technorati to organize the blog!!]
- RSS feeds / newsreaders and Del.icio.us come in a close second. One of Ranganathan's basic principles was "save the time of the reader" if we update that principle to "save the time of the searcher" these two items rank high in saving time!
Favorites for appealing to Web 2.0 customers and the FUN involved in learning about them:
- Social networking is also a favorite because it deals with the much broader concept of libraries being relevant to Web 2.0 technology users. MySpace opened a whole new world I didn't know was out there!
- Creating appealing sites be it MySpace, Wikis or Blogs requires a knowledgeable use of technology to showcase the site to its best advantage. Flickr, podcasts, YouTube, widgets, avatars, and image generators invite customers to look at what we have to offer -- they draw the customers into our content rich environment.
How has this program assisted or affected my lifelong learning goals?
- It is all too easy to get caught-up in the trenches of library work. A continuous flow of customers coming in to use our basic services, cataloging backlogs, being short-staffed, all affect the amount of time individual staff members can devote to lifelong learning. Web 2.0 takes a back seat to immediate customer service - get the book cataloged, get the items checked out, "next please" in the long customer lines - there is never enough time to get it all done and it starts over the next day.
- I was keeping up with the new developments in cataloging, and honing my skills as a cataloger but I knew I was slipping behind in learning about all the other developments out there. I didn't know where to start or how to build on the knowledge to incorporate it into the new Library 2.0 environment.
- This program was the enabler that I needed to start the process! I now have the basics under my belt, and have a world of ideas swirling around in my head on how to implement them into our library system!
In preparation for the second part of this segment "Check out and comment on at least three Learning 2.0 participants blogs" I created a favorites list of blogs that appealed to me -- including my own! The list is near the top of the page, check it out!
- The blogs I chose showed a vast amount of creativity as well as an organized flow of ideas and an overall continuity of the various segments
- They were visually appealing drawing me into the site as a welcomed guest and then offering a variety of interesting posts and discovery elements
- They were positive, upbeat and displayed a knowledgeable use of Web 2.0 technologies. I felt that the creator of each of these blogs spent time creating an inviting space while also considering in depth the implications all these technologies have in the Library 2.0 world
- Congratulations to all who created blogs -- Good job!
I will post a comment on three of those blogs that show the blog creator what I liked about their site in particular and in some cases a learning experience or discovery that we shared, although I chose blogs that in some cases were entirely different from my own, so a shared experience may not be possible!
Friday, January 11, 2008
I reviewed the searchrolls and they seem very busy to me, I didn't expect to see all the stuff that appeared when I did a search. I'm not sure how this will save time in finding something.
I created my account, created a search roll for movies called: DVDs & Movies, added the searchroll to my blog via the "create a searchbox", and also added the search link in my Links folder. So I am all set!
I chose the movies theme for my searchroll because as the DVD cataloger I constantly have to search for academy award winners, actors, actresses and information on the movies themselves. The two sites I added to my searchroll are Cuadra's Movie-STAR database [quick search for academy awards] and the IMDb for everything movies! I'm hoping that a search of these two using Rollyo will be quicker than calling the individual sites up from either the start menu, or the favorites. It certainly seems convenient at this point. I did try a search of my searchroll and one of the generic ones: Books & authors: Sharyn McCrumb (of course!) and I liked the search results. I also liked the fact that the search sites for the roll show up on the left, so that you know where the results came from. If you want to add/delete sites from an established searchroll you can. You then give it a name and the new combination of sites in the searchroll become a new roll that you created, similiar to, but not the same as the original one.
Anything that saves the time of staff I am all for! I see the potential use as an efficiency tool that lets you search multiple, trusted sites for specific information. As a novice user of Rollyo I will give it a trial run over the next couple of weeks, see if there are more search rolls that I can create and search for ones that may prove time savers.
I truly believe LibraryThing is an excellent tool for people who have small personal libraries they want to organize, corporations and companies who have corporate collections they want to organize and for sure church libraries who want to organize a library. Author, title, subject, DDC call number, tags, ISBN, publication information can all be added as well as sorted by. You can even add a book manually if you want! I would definitely recommend this tool for anyone who wants to organize their library collection.
A drawback: there is no circulation module! This would be a definite concern for church libraries, or small corporate libraries who had to keep track of circulating copies. Of course they could put the person who has the title in the comments or private comments column [and remember to delete their name when they brought it back!]
A positive: you don't need to know how to catalog and you only need to add or display the information you will need or want to use. The detailed MARC record that satisfies the needs of the public library does not have to be used in a personal collection, and LibraryThing's catalog record provides vital fields for bibliographic description. If more detailed information is desired, the title can be entered manually.
I cataloged 13 titles from my personal home collection. It was easy and fun to do, I may end up cataloging my whole personal collection with my own account!! I put my LibraryThing, LibraryThing search widget and the LibraryThing chicklets on the blog for all to see!
I wonder if LibraryThing could be used for the periodicals catalog until the serials module is fully functioning?
I definitely give this product a thumbs up!
Warholizer - I took my library trading card image and warholized it - I actually liked the look!Hair mixer - who could resist changing the hairstyles of Hillary? -- what a hoot!
The text generators were also fun. I added two to my Blog:
The Ninja Text Generator - thanks to the Ninja my Blog now has Cattitude!!
Image Chef's Wave generator - forever written and rewritten: Cataloging stands the test of time.
The image, text and loads of other generators add life and punch to everything that gets published on the internet. Knowing how to create and find the images is important.
This could be a fun assignment for our Teen Councils: either actually create images and widgets for our VBPL internet documents, or design the layout of them using already created images and text -- good for their resumes and good for VBPL!
Podcasting library websites I visited:
- The Library Channel at Arizona State University had a variety of podcasts. All had clear, crisp audio. In an interview with a Chinese visiting professor the audio was hard to understand because of his accent, I saw that as a drawback to the use of the interview as a podcast - perhaps a vodcast with captions would have been better. I liked the "Faculty and librarians team-up for Student Sucess" podcast. I thought the podcasts worked well for the university setting. They also had streaming video productions and I thought they were extremely helpful -- the 5 min. "Finding books video" on how to use the ASU catalog was very informative -- we could do that here at VBPL.
- Denver Public Library - a sheer delight! The children's stories were wonderful to listen to. It would be fun to have a children's story hour podcast that kids could sign on and experience, it would be a fun way to show them safely fun ways to experience the library through their computer.
- Sheridan Libraries at John Hopkins University had podcasts that met the specific needs of students & faculty but, like the ASU podcasts I think they work with universities and may not work as well with public libraries.
I like podcasts but I think vodcasts carry a bigger punch. Customers prefer certain narrators for audio books and I am wondering how they would react to voices in our podcasts.
I could see podcasts used at VBPL for short, simple directions or information on our website: library hours, holiday closings, etc.; on IBistro: how to renew your library card, change a pin, etc. Short snipets that inform. Also, they could be used as part of a regional LIBRARY TALK SHOW that showcased library issues in the region, interviewed city administrators, local politicians, promoted our Friends, etc.
Like all the Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies I think we should use podcasts and vodcasts to inform our customers and market our services. Before we just started putting podcasts up though a thoughtful examination of the who, what, where, when and why should be examined and a policy created to establish the guidelines.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Also, I read an article that stated that Yahoo closed their Podcast directory on Oct. 31st. Of the three top podcast directories listed in Thing 24 - two were blocked and one was defunct.
I reviewed Podcast.net and Podcastalley.com at home. I liked the look and feel of PodcastAlley.com so I searched for podcasts on that directory. Then back at work I opened and listened to two podcasts:
1. Open Stacks along with Uncontrolled Vocabulary “A live interactive discussion of current events in the world of libraries and librarians”
This was a live chat program, talk show format, about current issues in the library world. Some fluff, some substance. I don't like talk radio, so I really didn't care for this format type, however, I can ABSOLUTELY see the value of these podcasts. Librarians sharing their opinions about current issues that impact libraries and librarians today is a wonderful use of podcasts.
2. LibVibe: the library news podcast. “A check of headline news from the library world”
This was a newscast format. An announcer read headlines and articles in brief newscasting format about happenings in the library world. Each podcast is usually under 10 min. and just gives a brief overview of events & issues. I could see playing this in the background while working on other tasks, it would be an easy, quick way to keep current on library news.
I also listened to podcasts of librarians who work with teens, graphic novels and teens, and browsed other podcast titles that I want to follow up on a later date.
Some of the podcasts have poor quality sound, others are professional all the way. I would like to see VBPL create a live chat show featuring the regional library directors, library managers and library workers discussing library issues that affect all of Hampton Roads.
Did I find anything useful here? You bet I did! Podcasts can be used to: keep library staff current on library issues; provide short tutorials for staff and customers on how to use services, etc.
Some interesting uses of podcasts by VBPL would be:
- have some of the LCDT answers as podcasts
- welcoming messages to new hires from the director, or library managers
- Good job! podcasts that could highlight some of the achievements of staff
Lots of useful possibilities for podcasts!
Postscript: I created my very first PODCAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I signed on to gabcast.com, went through all the steps and voila! it is on my blog. Just click on play and listen! Gabcast has the feature of podcasting using a telephone rather than a microphone and it really makes it easy, easy to do!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I decided to search "library cats" to see what would come up. I liked the Baker & Taylor cats and wondered if any others were out there. Up popped "Browser the Library Cat" a spitting image of my cat Missy - so site chosen!
more on Browser I think a VBPL mascot would be a fun way to connect with children and even adults in the community. Create a YouTube video series featuring the mascot and put it up on our website.
It could be a fun way to introduce a new library program or a summer reading club.
I also envision YouTube being used for training topics , library locations, and merchandising/marketing our collection -- there are lots of ways we could provide useful and fun YouTube videos!
I thought the cataloging video is an example of how we could use YouTube for training projects -- however the quality of the screen shots was poor. We would have to do better!! A video of this type could be created for Library Orientation to introduce new hires to the work of Support Services.
The "Browser" video was just plain fun! The "Cataloging" video is 1.0 revised to 2.0!! -- a "look at what used to be" parody that also shows what cataloging is today.
Additionally, I had provided a link to the "Librarian's Manifesto" to one of my earlier posts [that was all I knew how to do!] and now I updated that post with the embeddable player code which allows readers of my blog to actually play the "Librarian's Manifesto" -- I really am learning!!
Mappr: I had uploaded a picture to Flickr (the snake pic mentioned earlier)- I noticed that two other photos were tagged using my tags, so I got to see other pictures like mine! Then, I mapped this picture using the map feature in Flickr, so not only is the pic tagged it is also mapped!
Flickr Color Pickr: this was very interesting, I clicked on several different colors and found an array of various photos that shared that color -- an interesting way to sort photos, not by topic, but by the colors they share. It would make for an interesting poster!
Montagr: I explored my hometown, my college and some vacation spots I have visited. Tags really do bring a sense of community -- as I viewed these pictures I was fascinated by the sameness and the change that the photo mosaics captured.
And finally, I tried the Librarian Trading Card (I saved it on the CS site, sent it to my home), and uploaded it to Flickr -- and then chickened out when I made it private on Flickr.
Is anyone else in the Library 2.0 program still afraid of identifying yourself on the Internet? As cool as these things are I find I still have a sense of caution -- beware of what images of myself, or information I provide that may be used for identity theft or even internet stalking.
In any case even with the sense of caution I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise. I found many new ways to share photos, create photo mementos and imagine all kinds of possibilities for Flickr.
As a cataloger I have been responsible for "tagging" everything I have cataloged over the past 23 years. I have done this via the access points that are placed in the MARC records. These access points have included: names of: authors, illustrators, actors, co-authors; titles, series titles, subjects: topical, geographical, personal name subjects, chronology; genre terms as well as numeric access (ISBNs, ISSNs, music numbers, publisher numbers). They are all "terms", "access points" or "tags" that make an item findable.
It is easy to describe something you have in front of you - you are looking right at it and can readily identify any feature it has.
But months from now, when it is no longer in front of you and you want to go back and look at it again - how do you relocate it? What was the title? What was it about? Who was the author? What was the ISBN? Who were the actors in the film? Where was the picture taken & when? Was the photo b&w or color? Who was the narrator of the audio book?
If you provided meaningful "tags" or "access points" to the item when you had it in front of you -- you can easily find it again. If you did not -- good luck.
One of the basic functions of cataloging is to provide access points that will make the item retreivable at a future date. Whether it is customers looking for a book in a series or an audio book read by a favorite narrator, or Internet searchers who want to find a blog article or a photo on Flickr they all need a reference point -- a way of easily locating a specific item in a SEA of items. Tags do the trick.
Tags make stuff, lots of stuff, lots of unorganized stuff, lots of stuff in various places and on various sites -- findable. Tags also allow people to share their information with others by making it accessible. People can post something on the Internet but no one else knows it is there -- tags SHOUT -- Hey, look here!
Tags are MARC access points on steroids! MARC access points: authors, titles, subjects, genres, keywords, etc. are used in specific bibliographic records which are downloaded to specific library catalogs. They make the information searchable, and findable to anyone who can access the Library catalog and obtain the item. Tags do all that and more! They are sharable and searchable. They find the actual articles, photos, blog posts, maps, etc. in the sea of information on the Internet.
Community develops on Flickr via shared interests. Groups, private and public definitely promote a sense of community as they share photos with one another. But, beyond that, daring to put up photos, etc. for ALL to view, add comments, enjoy, and use is opening a world of experiences, ideas, and values to everyone.
MARC access points
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
empty shelves photo
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I chose from the short list of winners and further narrowed down to The Visual Arts.
There were three sites listed and I enjoyed them all!
Welcome to ColorBlender – your free online tool for color matching and palette design! Very nice site! It creates color combinations that work together. Simply adjust the first color to what you want it to be and subsequent colors are added that match with your selected color. Lots of different combinations and tools to customize your color choice.
Could it be applied to a library setting - Yes. We have lots of books on selecting color in interior decoration and this site would enhance the experience by showing what colors would work well together in the new room design.
Swivel I chose the Graphs section of this site. This one is absolutely applicable to a library setting! From football statistics to when sharks are likely to attack this site is chock full of graphs, stats and data!
The third site I looked at was The Broth I chose the Collaborative Art "live art that's fun" section of this site and found very interesting pictures. Again, applicable to a library setting - Absolutely! There is a Graffiti section that allows a user to join in the interactive collaborative art rooms. Choose graffiti or mosaic art and have fun! I could see this as a popular site for Teens to create original art work in a collaborative atmosphere -- I would love to see the final product!
Web 2.0 Awards
Web 2.0 Awards
Tagging plays a key role in making the information retrievable. Like traditional subject access that catalogers have used for centuries, tags offer the concept of likeness, or collocation. Tags bring related information to the forefront by providing relevant access points.
The search tool itself offers the possibility of ranking the information it retrieves by offering the choice of authority for the articles "any ; little ; some ; a lot" and even sorts it by language preference.
While the format is different than traditional cataloging and the subject access is not in controlled vocabulary terms the basic concepts of cataloging are still behind the function of Technorati -- make the information relevant by providing searchable terms (tags), rank the information (via the authority rating) and make it retrievable.
Technorati and other search tools like it may be taking the place of traditional catalogers in libraries, but the basic functions of cataloging are at the heart of what makes Technorati so useful. Both cataloging and Technorati answer the questions: What is it? What is it about? How can I find it? Are there anymore like it? Long live Cataloging!!
I liked the several search options available. You can view the most popular, view those with a theme or even search at the specific tag level. The one thing I didn't like was new blogs with little chance to develop a following because of their newness weren't including in the basic search unless you changed the authority level from "some" to "any" authority. That is also a good thing though, because people who write frequently and well on a topic will get the expert level ranking and more people will add them to their favorites.
I did go back and tag all my posts! So I should be searchable for anyone looking for "any" authority on cataloging, Library 2.0 and the topics we have addressed in our Learning 2.0 experience!
Monday, December 17, 2007
I enjoyed the YouTube videos! The first:Tagging & Folksonomy -- little catalogers in the making, organizing and establishing relationships in their world! The second: Bookmarking in Plain English -- short, sweet & to the point, very helpful!
The longer OPAL presentation, "Make Your Library del.icio.us Social Bookmarking in the Stacks" by Jason Griffey offered food for thought. As a cataloger I see the need to establish relationships and collocation so that all related items are found. The idea of a hierarchy and faceted classification brings structure that is important. The Town Center building is made possible through intricate structural elements that allow the building to exist. In much the same way as a building needs the inner structure to exist I see cataloging as the intricate structural element that allows information to be found.
From Cindy's podcast: "as more and more people add content to the web they want to organize it ... and share it". A piece of information by itself, floating in a sea of information is useless unless it can be ranked, made relevant and revealed to the person seeking it. That is what cataloging does!
So what about Tagging and Folksonomies?? Are they useless? NO!! Bring them on! They are yet other tools in the toolbox useful in finding the information people are searching for.
Fiction subject access is a perfect example of how readers could benefit from using both structured access such as:
- Library of Congress (LC)Subject headings
- Guidelines on Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction, Drama, Etc. (GSAFD)genre terms
- Reader's Advisory appeal characteristics
and the unstructured access of: tags and folksonomies created by other readers.
Structured access can create the "what-who-where-when" very easily by creating access to:
- Genre type: Mystery - Romance - Christian Fiction - Science Fiction - Horror etc.
- Who: Professions - Continuing characters - Gender - Age
- Where: Geographic locations - Cities, rural areas, etc.
- When: Historical fiction - 21st century - 1960's, etc.
- Other books by the author
- Other books in the series
- Other books with similar genre types ; themes ; characters
- I would also like to see terms created in the catalog that associate appeal characteristics to the books in our collection. This could be a collaborative effort between Reader's Advisory Staff and Catalogers to add access to a discreet number of appeal characteristics: gentle read, mild language, Southern Fiction, etc.
The unstructured access offered by the tagging of actual readers would add an immense value: by offering the reading experience itself - what was the book like? Of course the following would depend on whether or not individual URLs are available for titles so that a reader could add tagging
- too preachy
- too wordy
- too much cussing
- it made me cry
- characters seemed plastic, not real
- great adventure story
- Reminds me of....
World Cat is following through with a project to make this feasible!! Stay tuned!
World Cat Link:
The value of individual tagging is in the emergant order" it creates. As large numbers of people add the same or similar tagging it will automatically create lists of "What do I read next" as others find value in the reading experience of those who took the time to create the tags.
I believe tagging and folksonomies can be very useful reader tools that unlock the reading experience for other readers. We can't read every title purchased by the library, but we can give it multiple access points to help customers choose what they want to read. The meat of the story and the heart of it can be revealed by those who actually have read and tagged the title and either came away with a MUST READ or STAY AWAY FROM IT reading experience.
Question #2: Is it an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere -- absolutely!! This is also a valuable way for staff to have at their fingertips the very sites that will allow them to connect readers to books they will enjoy and information they need to find.
I plan on creating a Del.icio.us account and experiment with tagging and bookmarks -- hopefully I can use it to create an informal "read-alike" list. If not, we have plenty of other tools we have learned about including Blogs, Wikis, and MySpace to make it happen!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Setting up the profile was fun and now I am waiting for my invitations to be a friend to be accepted! (Oh no!! What if Tom remains my only friend & he's too busy to talk to??!!) I can see why people enjoy this format for interacting with friends. I even added music to my page: John Fogerty!!! (oldies!!)
I still have some misgivings about privacy, my settings are set for probably more privacy than most people. Meeting people online and having fun is great, however some of the articles we read warned of predators, scam, pfishing, porn, identity theft, cyberbullying and impersonators -- all scary thoughts! I'm probably the only one who can get through my privacy wall!!
I wasn't going to sign up for a MySpace profile, but in the end I did. This whole learning experience is about change and growth. In Cindy's podcast she mentioned learning digital media skills, teaching & modeling safe practices and becoming relevant by being where the next generation of our customers are. It is incumbant on me as a librarian to constantly upgrade my skills. In the past my continuing education has been related to cataloging practices, but Learning 2.0 is my chance to experience and learn about new ways of communicating and new ways to provide information. I don't know if I will keep up with the blogs, MySpace, or even create the Wiki for Cataloging that I hope to create soon -- but I do know it was time for me to get into the 21st century way of doing things and now I can talk intelligently about all of our Learning 2.0 "Things" and say I have tried them all!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The question: Should VBPL use a social networking site to connect with teens for me has the resounding answer of yes!
I viewed the MySpace sites of the Hennepin County Library and the Denver Public Library and I thought they were creative and seem to be in keeping with the themes that teens are interested in. Our teen councils, teen read week, teen music, sorting through local news stories and putting up only the articles that have impact on teens, even something as simple as We IM do you use us? so many things we do could be sharing with our teens in a way they would enjoy! I definitely feel that MySpace is an excellent venue to reach the teens in Virginia Beach!
Social networking sites are really about...
*teens expressing themselves and socializing (and adults too in some ways!)
After reading all the articles I can see where MySpace and Facebook are popular with the tweens, teens, and 20-somethings but I also read of all the warnings on cyberbullying and cyber predators, so it is not all fun and games either. Even realizing that police, and school authorities can be viewing the information should urge caution for teenagers.
*Educating teens on the safe use of the MySpace accounts is certainly a key. But in the end it also involves personal responsibility, as the Cornell University article so vividly pointed out! Think twice about what you about yourself online - it can be used against you later.
*Privacy is a concern of mine. One of the articles mentioned if you wouldn't post it on a sign in your yard - think twice about posting it online.
*the good and the bad I think the cyberbullying is probably the saddest part of the MySpace experience that I read in the articles. Teens go to the site to fit in and feel part of the incrowd only to be bullied online. Like so much of life, books, the internet and even MySpace have good parts and bad parts that you have to learn to deal with as one teen said in the articles the good outweighs the bad for them.
Now, the next Thing is actually having the courage to sign up for a MySpace profile -- will I be brave and do it or just blog about what I see others do?? Stay tuned for the next post!!
Friday, December 7, 2007
Cataloging is the process of describing an entity, analyzing its contents, and assigning it a classification number. The process includes collocation which brings together related items and access points which provide searchable access to that entity. The basic process can be boiled down to: What is it? What is it about? How can I find it? Are there anymore like it? Catalogers create extensive bibliographic records that answer those questions and more. Unfortunately catalogers have been limited in the way the information we created could be accessed, displayed and delivered to our customers. Below is a brief history of the methods available for the distribution of the information catalogers create.
The Card Catalog Card
The MARC BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
- Revolutionary concept!
- Computerized information that was searchable
- Shared cataloging – one library created the catalog record – other libraries could use it
- Information not limited to 3x5 catalog cards which then permitted longer contents notes & more access points
- Keyword searchable which enabled all of the information in the MARC record to be an access point
- Eventually provided linkable fields to get to information on web sites.
- Impact on individual libraries:
- No more typing of card catalog cards! No more filing!
- The ability to provide LOTS MORE access! Less time spent on rote typing meant more time to spent on analysis and adding more access points
- Unfortunately information was still limited to MARC record format restraints and confined to text
LIBRARY 2.0 -- The MARC Record and Beyond!
- Catalogers are now free to use exciting new technologies to add access to information!
- Web sites
- Blogs & Wikis
- IM & RSS
- Online Images & Maps & Satellite Images
- Podcast & Vodcasts
In the future information will continue to explode and revolutionary new technology will be devised to make that information available in an ever widening array of delivery methods. Through it all information seekers will continue to ask the questions: What is it? What is it about? How can I find it? Are there anymore like it? And, catalogers will continue to provide the information access points that will rank, collate and provide relevancy to the information they find.
The best part of the information explosion and technological advancements is that catalogers will have exciting new delivery methods to provide customers with the full array of the information access we provide! Linda Dolence 12/07/07
Library Card Catalogs
Monday, December 3, 2007
I then went to the Staff Picks and added two titles, but evidently only saved one. The fiction title I added definitely showed up. I thought that was really cool to add a favorite title so that others can read it too! I then tried to add comments to the entry and got totally lost - I wanted to add the taglines there like I see one person had done and got nowhere. I think the tags will be important to build reading lists so maybe I will try again tomorrow with a fresh brain!
I think reading groups, the Summer Reading program, and other Reader's advisory groups can use Wikis effectively. A staff member who doesn't read in a particular genre can use a wiki to find current lists of the books in VBPL that appeal to that type of genre reader -- the customers can also use that list and contribute their own titles -- that opens the shelves to our customers!
I see wikis and Reader's Advisory as a perfect match!
Interesting things about Wikis…
- I enjoyed looking at the various Wikis – they were really good examples of what can be done with Wikis in the Library. The various looks of Wikis are also amazing -- From the familiar Wikipedia encyclopedic look which the Library Success: a best practices wiki shares to an eye-catching appearance like the Bull Run Library wiki the possibilities are virtually endless as to the content and style you choose to create for the Wiki.
What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?
- For CS definitely I can envision our P&P Manual set up as a wiki. The collaborative editing of documents feature would enable us to instantly update the manual without going back and forth with emails and waiting for the information to get updated in the manual. Because it is specific to CS practices as an internal document, the wiki could be set up so that only CS staff members could edit and view the wiki.
- The Library P&P manuals could also be a wiki, with editing rights limited to the P&P committee, but the manual itself viewable to all library staff who would have the ability to comment on but not edit the policies and procedures.
- The Periodicals catalog which lists holdings could be a wiki, with editing rights for the staff who are responsible for the periodicals in each agency – instant updates!
- The Reader’s Advisory function is a perfect candidate for a wiki – readers telling other readers what they liked and didn’t like about the books they have been reading – that’s like pearls and cameos – a perfect match!!
- I could also see a wiki designed to solicit feedback from public service staff to CS about subjects and other access that would make life easier working with the public
- Training guides could also be created as a wiki with the help screens guiding the customer through the topic such as: self-checkout, how to renew a book, how to access the various online resources we have, etc.
- We tried a wiki for online collaboration on one of the committees I was on, but the process seemed cumbersome for that particular committee. Maybe because none of us were too familiar with wikis at the time! I would definitely try to create a wiki for future committee work. Having the collaborative editing ability for committee documents and being able to brainstorm new ideas I believe will work better than email for our future committees.
Given another year I think I will be amazed at the wikis created at VBPL to streamline work and interact with the customers!!Wikis
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
IM Reference Interviews
Monday, November 26, 2007
Why should libraries use IM?
- The statistics show that 53 million adults are using IM in their daily lives -- if we want to reach customers and be relevant to them, we need to take into consideration their technology usage and deliver the information they want in a technology format they use -- IM is statistically an appropriate tool to use to reach those customers who use it.
- In the Breeding article, Instant messaging: it's not just for kids anymore the following quote is quite relevant to the question: "the pervasive presence of instant messaging will be ignored only by organizations willing to risk irrelevancy"
How is IM different than traditional communication channels?
- After reading the articles the idea of "presence awareness" was one of the differences that stuck in my mind as an appeal factor for IM. The immediacy of the conversation and communication with another person was important. Email has lag time that IMers simply don't want to put up with. Also, IM is available on PDAs and cell phones, so it is a take with you technology you can use anytime.
How many of the IM population are our customers and why should we care?
- Probably lots! Of the 53 million adults who use IM, I would think the odds are that quite a few could already be our current customers waiting for us to initiate relevant information exchanges. Librarian IM: "Hello, is anyone out there???" IM Response: "YES!!! Where have you been? I need..............."
- Reaching teens is one of our top priorities, they are our future if we stay relevant to their needs. The Pew article on Teens and Technology stated that 45% have cell phones and that 33% use texting. That's a big chunk of customers we could draw IF we provide services that can answer their information needs.
Why should we care?
- Let's start with professional pride. Librarians open up information to individuals, we always have. The IM me article spoke of the IM process: "in the process, librarians can truly be their users' personal guide through the information ocean." We bring information to light.
- We have always helped customers who have come through our doors find the information that they need. We have even provided telephone reference and email services. Bravo! We can still continue those services... However,
- It is time to expand our services to help customers who still need the information we can provide, but choose to request it via IM, the option that best suits their busy lives.
- If we want to be relevant to information seekers who use IM as well as other emerging technologies we need to provide the information they need in whatever mode that can reach them successfully.
- Libraries and librarians have so much to offer information seekers -- lets keep pace with the technology that will allow us to deliver that information to them.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use?
- Definitely the icons, they were quicker. If you are at a site subscribing using the RSS feed icon really made it simple.
Which Search tool was easiest? More confusing?
- Blogline's Search tool: this tool was the easiest to use
- Feedster: this one was Changing, so it was not available to try
- Topix.net: I found it easy to navigate. I used the "All Sites" link to just browse the topics this was a browsable index by topic and I liked that feature.
- Syndic8.com: I found some interesting library sites that I may go back and subscribe too. This one was my least favorite I think because of layout, I can't quite pinpoint why I didn't like it as much.
- Technorati: this site seemed to provide the most information, arranged in a logical manner. Very thorough.
What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?
- There are several sites that I check on frequently to see what has been updated. I simply went to these sites and copied the URLs.
- The DDC updates coming to me rather than me searching daily at the beginning of the month to see if the new month has been posted will really be a timesaver!
Advantages of an RSS reader:
- In the sphere of Ranganathan: Save the time of the Reader...
- RSS certainly saves time. Rather than going to the web sites the sites are brought to you and the readers help to organize what has been read, or even what you want to star and go back to. If you are interested in keeping up with the latest info on your favorite topics this is certainly a way to bring it all to you!
- If you are interested in a lot of topics, or subscribed to a site that has lots of posts I can see where the information coming to you could get unwieldy -- the "Mark as read" feature or "star" for later reading could help control that situation.
- Also, the information comes to you automatically, constantly -- whereas without RSS you would go at your own inclination to whatever sites you had time to review.
I will be trying out the RSS feed over the following weeks to see the advantages and disadvantages -- at this point I am looking forward to news and events coming to me rather than me taking the time to search for them!
How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?
- Certainly in the area of reader's advisory. Creating book lists customers could review to find the latest book of their favorite author, or new titles in series would be very helpful information to get in an RSS feed.
- Upcoming events and library programming of interest to various groups. Knowing when the next program on [topic] will be featured at the library is certainly another.
My thoughts on that question...
Library 2.0 for me is the opening up of information to customers whenever, however, and wherever they need it. Library collections should be collaboratively linked to one another with their entire contents accessible 24/7. Librarians should work seamlessly in the background to provide the special touch of information enrichment that librarianship offers: selection, metadata, connections, references, and linkages. The information should be available in such a way that a specific page of a book, a specific scene in a movie or a specific song on a CD is instantaneously at the fingertips of our customers. In an age where this is all possible, and in many cases already available why would we want to cling to past practices? “Sorry the library is closed, we will re-open at 10am tomorrow – please hold your information needs until that time”… No way!!
After watching a You Tube video: A Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto by Laura CohenI thought about cataloging in relation to 2.0, again here are my thoughts.... The Librarian 2.0 Manifesto was thought provoking. The idea I wish to add comes from the Manifesto item: I will lobby for an open catalog that provides personalized, interactive features that users expect in online information environments. Remember when….Manual typewriters were available for term papers? Then came the electric typewriter, followed by the word processor – wow what a difference! I don’t know of anyone who clung to a manual typewriter [remember footnotes?!] once they experienced a word processor. The same is true for library technology – first came the handwritten card catalog cards (I’m not old enough to remember those days!), which gave way to typed cards, first on manual typewriters [oh the pain of typing the tracings at the bottom!], then electric typewriters (with bars to hold the cards in place!), which gave way to OCLC with MARC records collaboratively input by thousands of librarians. This was a technological innovation that allowed richer subject access, searching that could connect series titles and keyword searches that were IMPOSSIBLE in the card catalog, early COM CATs (microfiche catalogs), and OPACs. Now we have a new library revolution that is using WEB 2.0 and adapting it to libraries, Library 2.0 – I say go for it!! Why would librarians cling to the old way of creating and searching static information when the possibilities are endless in what we will be able to provide both now and in the future… the 3x5 library catalog card severely limited what we could represent about a title ; the MARC record provided ways for more information to be recorded about a title, but Library 2.0 OPENS resources in their entirety anytime, anyplace, anywhere to be viewed, evaluated, notated, criticized, shared, given tags and hyperlinked to more info … why would anyone cling to Library 1.0 once they experience the world of Library 2.0 – why?
My Journey from Libary 1.0 thinking to Library 2.0 action!
Access to information
The structure that makes things findable
The keyring that holds all the keys together
The right tool for finding information