Additions to Personal Reading List…08.29.08

29 08 2008

The latest addition to my personal reading list is “You Can’t Catch Death: A Daughter’s Memoir” by Ianthe Brautigan.  In the 1970’s, I read everything published by Richard Brautigan.  My particular favorites were “A Confederate General at Big Sur,” “In Watermelon Sugar”, and “The Hawkline Monster.”  I think I liked “In Watermelon Sugar” the best–probably my age and frame of mind at the time.

“You Can’t Catch Death: A Daughter’s Memoir” by Brautigan’s daughter supposedly gives insight into the writer’s life before his suicide.   Fortunately, I was able to get a used copy “like new” through Amazon for a ridiculously low cost delivered.

A Daughter's Memoir


I have also added to my list the new title “Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet” by Ian McNeely with Lisa Wolverton (described below).  Using a gift card I was given this week for Barnes & Nobel, I was able to order it online for only an additional $1.80!!

“…How do we know what we know? A new book takes a long view of knowledge, from ancient oral traditions to the rise of universities and the Internet…”

Cover Image

Dealing With Technostress/Information Overload in Libraryland and Beyond…08.29.08

29 08 2008

Today’s LibGib’s relevant post by Tawney Sverdlin for all librarians and many other busy workers is titled “Mediate in the Library” [ ] and deals with librarian “technostress” and “information overload”

“…By the very nature of our profession, librarians must harness the chaos of information and transform it into manageable, tangible data. Whether it is through a conversation at the reference desk or through the wilderness of metadata, it is part of our job description.

Ameet Doshi writes ‘The fact that librarians, perhaps by nature, constantly seek to create order out of chaos can also lead to feeling of being overwhelmed by a geyser of information that is simply too difficult to keep up with. Sometimes this can lead to frustration and, ultimately, anger.’ The key is maintaining internal focus while multitasking…”

“…Cultivating mindfulness with constant interruptions is the really hard part. It is easy to look at my entire workday as one long series of interruptions as I am constantly pulled from my wandering interior monologue to a student’s question about our catalog. Even if I am not actively waiting for a student to ask me questions I am still splintered between various tasks or distractions online. One friend of mine recently described Facebook as ‘the monkey mind of websites’.

Speaking of Facebook, I am brought to my second point. This is the degree to which technology offers even more distraction than in previous eras and thus more stress. Constantly checking the internet for constant updates is one symptom of how addictive technology can be. Each click of the refresh button brings with it a false sense of security that we are perfectly in control of our lives (false!).

Modern life in general can generate many feelings of isolation in general. We all work long hours away from our loved ones. I often doubt whether or not social networking actually fosters real connection between people or whether or not it just subtracts the amount of focus one has invested in any given interaction. Don’t get me wrong, there are a myriad of ways that these applications are beneficial, especially in the arena of publishing, but social interactions online are certainly less taxing than face-to-face ones…”

Survey Highlights Apparent Disconnect Between Academic Librarians and Faculty…08.29.08

29 08 2008

Albert Albanese reports today in Library Journal []  :

“..In a report measuring faculty the perceptions of libraries and their value on campus, there is a ‘growing ambivalence about the campus library’ in the digital age, according to researchers at Ithaka, an independent not-for-profit organization that aims ‘to accelerate the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education worldwide.’

Further, the survey, Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education, reveals an emerging disconnect between librarians’ perceptions of their roles and the expectations and habits of the faculty they serve. ‘Although the importance of the library’s role as a gateway to faculty is decreasing, rather dramatically in certain fields,’ the report notes, ‘over 90 percent of librarians list this role as very important, and almost as many expect it to remain very important in five years. Obviously there is a mismatch in perception here.’…”

Browse LCSH Database…08.28.08

28 08 2008

Planet Catalog posted [] the following today which is worthy of checking out:

“The Browse LCSH database (6.5m records) now includes the complete file of 266.857 terms that was made available by the project. That means you find links from our database to the record in to view their innovative display. The notes contained in the records have been included too. LC classes are indexed as well and can be browsed, to find LCSH terms. 

LC has improved the findability of authority records recently. They have added a keyword search to the database.”

Although I have the 29th edition of the LCSH, I frequently use “the database” for cataloging work.

“Shock & Awe” Hits the Special Library…08.28.08

28 08 2008

Because it’s my birthday week, my department surprised me this morning with redecorating my office space using a Halo3 theme…with me as Master Chief of the United Space Command!

Sarah Long Interviews Michael Sauers on How to Know If Your Library Blog is Successful..08.27.08

27 08 2008

Find out about successful library blogging from “Sarah Long’s podcast, ‘Longshots,’ explores the world of libraries through interviews with key library figures and commentary on issues that matter to libraries.”  To hear her interview with Michael Sauers’ (Technology Innovation Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska) on this subject, click on Longshots #114 on this page:

WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry Beta Test…08.27.08

27 08 2008

Catablog reports today [] on the beta test of WorldCat Copyright Evidence Regsistry:

“OCLC is conducting a beta test of the WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry.

The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry (CER) is a community of people, libraries, and other organizations working together to discover and share information about the copyright status of books.

The Copyright Evidence Registry is based on WorldCat, which contains more than 100 million bibliographic records describing items held in thousands of libraries worldwide. In addition to the WorldCat metadata, the Copyright Evidence Registry uses data contributed by libraries and other organizations.

You can search the Copyright Evidence Registry to find information about a book, learn what others have said about its copyright status, and share what you know.

If your library or organization is a Copyright Evidence Registry subscriber, you can run automated copyright rules that you create in the Copyright Evidence Registry to conform to your standards for determining copyright status. The rules help you analyze the information available in the Copyright Evidence Registry and form your own conclusions about copyright status.”

Also, you can receive an e-mail notification when information about a book changes within the Copyright Evidence Registry.

Video on Using Google Reader…08.27.08

27 08 2008

The Blogging Librarian’s post today [] links to an interesting video by Common Craft explaining how to use Google Reader.

Time Off Over–New Postings Begin…08.27.08

27 08 2008

I have been out of the office and not uploading posts until now.  More to follow…

“Facebook 101″ Guide…08.23.08

24 08 2008

The “What I Learned Today” blog’s post today [] is something I need to study since I don’t do Facebook yet.  I hope he doesn’t mind me copying it here for my future reference when I get around to taking the plunge.

Step by Step Guide to Getting Started with Facebook

  • Go to
  • Enter your information and click ‘Sign Up’
  • Click the link in your email (confirming your membership)
  • Finish setting up your account
  • First search your address book to see which of your friends are already on Facebook.
  • Next choose friends that match those in your address book to connect to on Facebook
  • You can also find friends by entering your education and current employer
  • Based on the information you enter, Facebook will make friend suggestions for you
  • Next you will be brought to your new Facebook homepage
  • By using the search box on the left you can find people you may know as well as groups and pages of interest
  • From the search results you can send a message to your friend or click ‘Add as Friend’
  • Clicking ‘Add as Friend’ will notify the person that you want to be friends
  • Next, you’ll want to update your profile
  • Click ‘edit’ to the right of ‘Profile’ on the top of the screen
  • By clicking from tab to tab across the top you can enter as much or as little information about yourself as you’d like
  • By entering multiple email addresses, it will make it easier for people to find you
  • Relationship information will appear on your main profile page
  • Personal information will just give people a feel for who you are
  • By entering your education, fellow alumni will be able to find you
  • Work information can be used by potential employers and by colleagues who are looking to find you on Facebook
  • While it’s not required to enter a picture, adding one  to your profile helps people identify you (especially if your name has changed)
  • Once your account is set up, you can keep up with updates from your friends, groups, applications and pages by looking to the right of your homepage
  • You can also find updates by clicking on Inbox on the top of the screen.
  • At the bottom right of your screen you’ll see the Facebook Chat
  • By clicking on ‘Online Friends’ you’ll see your friends who are on Facebook right now.  Double clicking on your friend’s name will open a chat window.
  • Type your message and hit enter to send it to your friend instantly.

2007 SLA Salary Survey…08.23.08

24 08 2008

This may be of interest for future reference:

Percent Change
Respondent Country
10th Percentile
First Quartile 25%
Median 50%
Third Quartile 75%
90th Percentile
Mean Percent Change
United States
United Kingdom**
All Other Europe***

 *All salaries in Canadian tables are reported in Canadian dollars. The exchange rate on April 1, 2007, was Can$ 1.15 = $1 U.S.

**All salaries in U.K. tables are reported in Pounds Sterling. The exchange rate on April 1, 2007, was £.51 = $1 U.S.

***All salaries in other European tables are reported in Euros. The exchange rate on April 1, 2007, was ?.75 = $1 U.S.

LE@D…UNT and Lifelong Education @ Desktop Continuing Education website…08.22.08

22 08 2008

I came across an interesting and useful website today which I plan to use to rhelp eview, update, and complement my library skills/education called LE@D [] which describes itself as: “…The University of North Texas and Lifelong Education @ Desktop offer, as a community service, a series of online continuing education tutorials. These courses meet an urgent need in the professional community: high-quality, Internet-delivered continuing education that is so economical you can train your entire staff!…” 

A highlight of this project is the very reasonable cost. 

They explain their attractiveness here:

“Quality: LE@D courses are written by people with recognized expertise in their field.  They are practical, not just theoretical, because the authors have been there, and they know.

Flexibility: Take the classes as an individual, or as a group. Use them as a stand-alone training session, or as part of a larger training program. Use them completely on-line, or with a face-to-face program.

Availability: Take the classes when they fit into your schedule. The classes can be completed at your convenience.

Affordability: LE@D classes begin as low as $15 for a three-hour course for individuals, and even lower for group rates.

Most LE@D courses are designed to be completed in 2 to 3 contact hours…”

Although these courses are designed primarily for those without an MLS/MLIS degree, the courses are inexpense and tackle some practical topics not always covered in library school.  Interestingly enough, I live within driving distance of the UNT campus but the post-graduate course fees for library and information science program courses would be prohibitive so this is yet another alternative for continuing education.

Hiring Manager’s Keyword Search Survey Results…08.22.08

22 08 2008

A  recent survey found the following:

“…Hiring managers often use electronic scanners to rank candidates based on a keyword search of applications, so make sure to pepper keywords from the job posting into your resume as they apply to your experience. The terms employers search for most often are:

  • problem-solving and decision-making skills (50 percent)
  • oral and written communications (44 percent)
  • customer service or retention (34 percent)
  • performance and productivity improvement (32 percent)
  • leadership (30 percent)
  • technology (27 percent)
  • team-building (26 percent)
  • project management (20 percent)
  • bilingual (14 percent)…”

New Projects…08.21.08

21 08 2008

Today was a change of pace with added new and time-consuming duties of selecting potential books in subject-specific areas for promotion and contacting their respective publishers regarding possible author TV guest appearances and soliciting review copies for Marketing and TV uses. 

I fielded several rush-rush management reference questions with diverse subjects, i.e. getting the contact information for a world-famous boxer, researching African-American mega-churches in the LA area, etc.

Never a dull moment (well, almost never) for the solo librarian in library-land!

Video Archive Cataloging at a Stand Still…08.21.08

21 08 2008

I have noted here before that I have been trying unsuccessfully to resume shipment of materials to me from our off-site and out-of-state video archives for cataloging.  Thousands of video masters in various formats are awaiting cataloging and proper storage.  I will persist in requesting the shipments until it happens and wait patiently (OK–relatively patiently) until then. 

As a cataloging update, I have cataloged 16,457 physical items using the Atriuum ILS software since August of 2006.  Cataloging our video archive materials was halted at the end of 2007 although other non-archive items are regularly added to our collections.

Information Professional Identities and Our Online Reputation by Stephen Abram online…08.20.08

20 08 2008

As usual a good read is available from Stephen Abram’s latest article in SLA’s Information Outlook: 

Information Professional Identities and Our Online Reputation 

Conclusion: “…We need to learn to address the challenging 21st century issues in this socially networked world – privacy, DRM, rights, legal issues, ownership, safety, etc. We need to understand the issues related to our photos – are they real, B&W, colour – professional, edgy, silly, embarrassing, whatever? Will we want them to turn up in other contexts? What about our private lives and photos? What about weird Uncle Bill?

Either way, it’s time to re-find our voice as professionals. Anonymity just isn’t working for us. Professionalism requires that we learn to how to present ourselves, promote ourselves and be where our market of users can discover us and be impressed that we are the sharks in the tank of the emerging information and knowledge economy. Our reputation will play out in the social web space as much as anywhere else. We need to get good at this.”

Libraries and Librarians in “Second Life” Virtual World today and the Future…08.19.08

19 08 2008

Although I have yet to venture into the virtual world of Second Life, I know I must eventually do so.  I have read much about it and can see many opportunities for such a tool/environment.  Learning new things is great but the time and energy to jump into Second Life has escaped me thus far.  Anyway, I’ll take the plunge soon–another aspect of “professional development” I’m sure.

There is an update about Second Life reaching its second anniversary at LibGig today [] which is worth checking out.  Here is an excerpt from Rhonda Truman from Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, NC:

“…Where do we go from here? The rising cost of travel and awareness of ecological concerns makes virtual environments an attractive choice for meetings, presentations, seminars, and conferences. It can also be used as a place to find and hire employees. Manpower is just one of several employment agencies that use SL to recruit. Other uses will depend on the future of virtual worlds. If, as some predict, virtual worlds become future of the Internet perhaps instead of flat or even 2.0 web sites representing our libraries, we will have virtual places where our patrons can visit us online and where we can provide access to a wide range of services. Virtual won’t replace real life libraries, no one thinks that they will, but they can be a new way to interact with our users and reach beyond our walls to others.”

Bleak Cataloging Future?…08.19.08

19 08 2008

Since I do a lot of cataloging, I found the following post on Planet Catalog [] interesting fodder:

“Experienced cataloger and cataloging teacher, Brigid Burke, shares her thoughts about the future of cataloging in The Grim Outlook for Cataloging. In this long and thoughtful post, she critiques the development of the new cataloging code, RDA, and questions the need to shift catalogers’ skill set to IT competencies.

So, the future of cataloging looks bleak and confusing. We have a new set of standards and tools being put in place that don’t seem very revolutionary, and yet the hype says they are. … If anyone wants career advancement, they will have to deal with administrators who will believe ALA’s tripe about competencies, and no one will hire you if you’re not a programmer/Web designer. Librarianship will not be about handling books any longer, even though libraries will continue to buy them.”

“Future-Proofing” Libraries Ideas…08.19.08

19 08 2008

Here are some of the “Future-Proofing” comments from the recent article in Library Journal that I found insightful:

“Any organization that has a goal of being ‘future-proof’needs to focus on its staff above all else. Plans, goals, and strategies are great—but who’s going to implement those great strategies? If staff are not capable, the best-laid plans will find themselves by the wayside. Here are some thoughts about hiring and training future-proof staff:

Hire creative people: You know the kind. They’re the ones who always look at a problem with a unique perspective and bring new and better ideas to the table. They can usually solve a problem multiple ways, on any budget, and with flair. Instead of hiring for specific, immediate needs, hire creative people who can adapt and improve for many needs, now and in the future.

Hire passionate individuals: Don’t hire people who want a job. That’s all they’ll ever do. Instead, hire people who eat, breathe, and sleep libraries, information, and community—and want to do those things at your library. These are the people who will relish finding new, innovative ways to connect their community to the library.

These creative, passionate librarians will need a new type of skill set to be future-proof. These skills have nothing to do with performing a successful reference interview or memorizing AACR2. Instead:
They need to be adept at change. Change will happen in a future-proof library, probably rapidly at times. Future-proof librarians must be not just comfortable with change but able to lead it.

They must be computer/social networking experts. Blogs have been around for over 11 years, social networks for even longer. Computers have been in our libraries for more than 20 years. Why are we still hiring people who can’t use these tools? Why have we kept people on staff who can’t use them? Our library world is quickly changing, and computers and online communities are a major component of future-proofing a library. If we were a Taxi company, we wouldn’t hire someone who couldn’t or wouldn’t learn to drive a new transmission, would we?

They need to scan the horizon. They should be able to look out at their little part of the library world, see what’s developing, and be able to figure out how to implement it.

Finally, and probably most important, the future-proof library and the future-proof librarian need one simple thing to succeed: they need their library administration to lead the way. That means that all the stuff I just said above…needs to be there already.”David Lee King

“The best way to future-proof libraries is not by electronically reimagining our most valuable attributes in a collective attempt to cheat obsolescence. Our insurance is going to come from a much more basic place—we have to turn inward, understand why libraries have been such fabulously lasting cultural institutions, and reflect on how best to transfer this to the modern information climate.

Libraries represent thoughtfulness, peace, and possibility, and we should strive to keep them as transparent and accessible as possible. The profit imperative increasingly shapes the way that information is organized and accessed, but libraries can thrivesimply because we exist in opposition to this model. A truly national and effective libraries-are-viable-and-valuable advertising campaign that takes on grassroots and major media tactics would be incredibly worthwhile.

It’s easy to recognize the tone this message might take when you consider the movements that are creating change on a broad scale. The social capital of libraries speaks to the same populist, sustainable spirit that drives the open source, open access, slow food, local, DIY, and green movements, the only difference being that we’ve been at it for millennia. Libraries are the quintessence of the sustainable information movement, and we create community spaces that simultaneously validate the universal human need for the social, the intellectual, and the thrifty. We also have an unbelievable wealth of dedicated staff for whom libraries are symbolic of the greatest good, drawn together in a vocational community of practitioners that could hardly be more enthusiastic or protective of the services we provide. It’s critical that we teach our users that they can believe in libraries like they can believe in any other good cause, because library sustainability is essentially in their hands. It is our responsibility to make sure that they have enough reasons to understand, appreciate, and advocate for us.”Char Booth

“Future-proofed libraries will be flatter, more transparent institutions, free of hierarchal organization. They will constantly reevaluate space, service, and user engagement. I watch the Darien Library, CT, very closely as a way to see future ideas put into play now: circulation staff blogging and selecting materials, innovations with reference services, and a new building that will inspire the community as well as the library world. I watch the new spaces at libraries like Loyola, McMaster, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina State to see what the idea of the commons means to students and faculty. The librarians and staff creating these spaces realize the future is more about collaboration and space than rows of stacks.
The future-proof library will encourage my heart—to grow, explore, learn, and experience. It will know me and provide information I didn’t even know I needed. I will experience information in new ways, inside the library or wherever the library happens to be: on my “digital lifestream” device, via my home information/entertainment devices, and via the cloud of data that will be available to me wherever I go.Michael Stephens

Avoiding Emotionally “Unhealthy” Libraries…08.18.08

18 08 2008

LibGig post today “Picking a Good Apple: Avoiding an Unhealthy Workplace”[] emphasizes the paramount importance of choosing a healthy emotional atmosphere in the library workplace over a larger or more prestigious one:

“What makes an emotionally healthy library? Nancy Cunningham writes that is unaffected by the level of funding, technology, collections or perceived prestige. She goes on to state that ‘the most unhealthy libraries can be housed in fabulous facilities, contain prestigious collections, access cutting-edge technology and fund a well-paid and trained staff.’ None of that seems to matter though in the creation of a healthy library…

Michelle S. Millet writes that ‘Libraries are often filled with introverts and extroverts, competing personalities, shy individuals, and alpha personalities. What you really need to ask yourself when interviewing for a position is, ‘Can I fit in with these people and work with them’?…

While it may not be the case in many organizations, a library manager should have a strong background in practical library work and not only in business management. A lack of understanding on the part of a library director about the basic day-to-day reality of their staff members is bound to lead to discontent…”

“Why Being A Librarian Is Like Being An Opium Addict??”…08.18.08

18 08 2008

In between assignments this rainy, blah, and relatively boring Monday morning, I ran across the following blog post from earlier this year from Blake on the LISNews which seemed to generate some interesting and testy feedback comments. 

“People always wonder why librarians enjoy their jobs. We sit around all day and wait to find answers to questions we know nothing about. It Turns Out we’re just addicted. It is something we seem hard-wired to do, says Dr. Biederman.  When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we are junkies for those. You might call us ‘infovores.’ ” We are programmed for scarcity and can’t dial back when something is abundant.

In other words, coming across what Dr. Biederman calls new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it. The reverse is true as well: We want to avoid not getting those hits because, for one, we are so averse to boredom.”

Setting Up A Virtual Library…08.15.08

15 08 2008

Here is a short but interesting article to read: Real Life in the Virtual Library, The Charleston Advisor, Volume 10, Number 1, July 2008 , pp. 47-48(2). 

Headings include the following:

Why Create a Virtual Library?

What Is a Virtual Library?

What Does a Virtual Librarian Do?

What Does the Future Hold?

The article was written by Jannette L. Finch, librarian for the College of Charleston North Campus and Lowcountry Graduate Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

Library 3.0?…08.15.08

15 08 2008

Iris Jastram, The Pegasus Librarinan, writes today []:

“Friends, Romans, countrymen. I am here to tell you that we are, yet again, behind the times. There are people out there who are still talking about Library 2.0 and spending great amounts of energy figuring out a) what that is, b) how that differs from the Library 1.0 that must have existed even though it was never named, and c) how to put it into practice.

This is no longer enough.

I don’t care if we still haven’t even agreed if there is such a thing as Library 2.0. I don’t care if we haven’t figured out quite how to do it. If we don’t drop everything and run, we’ll miss the Library 3.0 train. Forget about your 23 things, your webinars (who invented that term, anyway?), and your virtual worlds. Those are so 2007.

‘But what are we to do, oh wise Pegasus?’ you ask. In answer to that I say, I have absolutely no idea. Apparently we’re supposed to be more semantic and stuff, so go do that. Also, Wikipedia offers up this definition of the web analogy to Library 3.0 thusly:

 Web 3.0, a phrase coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006, refers to a supposed third generation of Internet-based services that collectively comprise what might be called ‘the intelligent Web’—such as those using semantic web, microformats, natural language search, data-mining, machine learning, recommendation agents, and artificial intelligence technologies—which emphasize machine-facilitated understanding of information in order to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience.

 Since I’m already fluent in ‘natural language,’ I think I’ll just check that one right off my list. And last I checked, we had several hulking cabinets full of microformats, so I’m going to declare that one done, too. I’m also pretty good at recommending things, though people rarely seem to pay attention. Their loss.

 All in all, we’ve probably got our foot in the door on this one, thank goodness. Still, we might want to start taking sides now, just to save time later. We’ll need some volunteers for the ‘This will devalue Library 2.0′ camp, and a ‘this is silly, don’t talk to me about it’ camp. Of course, we’ll need the ‘3.0 evangelist’ camp, but if you’ve already had a turn as a 2.0 Evangelist, please be aware that you may be needed in the ‘This will devalue Library 2.0′ camp. You can’t be the stars of the show every time.”

“Future-Proofing” Your Library…08.14.08

14 08 2008

There is an interesting “Editorial” article in Library Journal titled “People in and out of libraries are the engines for future-proofing” [] by Francine Fialkoff which is excerpted here:

“…Joel Garreau, author, Washington Postwriter, and scenario planner, has been working with ULC this year to help members innovate faster; he says we must ‘keep up with hundreds of uncertainties’ and look for emerging patterns. Just as the new social learning is bottom up, so must organizations ditch their hierarchies in favor of bottom-up development, he says.

He asks a question on the minds of many library funders: ‘In an age of Google, what are libraries for?’ Libraries can’t just be reactors but must ‘identify what’s being born and hitch themselves to that faster.’ While there are no guarantees this will work, ‘more of the same yields fewer users, less budget,’ Garreau insists. OCLC’s funding report is more positive, since it found that library “super supporters” are not the heaviest library users and that there is room for growth among probable supporters, particularly those who go to the library ‘just for fun.’

Omar Wasow, tech analyst and co-founder of both and a charter school in Brooklyn, NY, told ULC attendees the library is a ‘playground for the mind…where the product is a better person.’ Libraries, he said, have always been conduits for self-directed learning, so computer-based online tutoring in libraries satisfies kids’ need ‘to make mistakes privately.’ And J.C. Herz, founder of Joystick Nation, a firm that bears the name of her book on the video gaming industry, called the library the ‘glue, conveyance, conductor of civic connection…allowing community to create a ‘we.’ She urged librarians to find ‘respectful ways…to connect customers to each other [and] enable self-organization.’ She also noted that Nintendo sold a lot more games when it created ones that could be solved by large groups of kids going online or buying books for tips and tricks.

Garreau drew these tidbits from the table talks at the Fast Forward conference, many of which echoed comments in ‘Future-Proof Your Library':

  • Get rid of silos among libraries. Partner with other libraries to be more of a force in the marketplace.
  • Hire for potential, not experience.
  • Form communities of interest among staff to innovate.
  • Encourage risk and accept the possibility of failure.

Echoing Wasow, the University of Washington’s Joe Janes summed up, saying, ‘A good library reflects a community and betters it.’ But he also asked, ‘How long have [libraries] got?’ and proposed the need for ‘some sort of NASA…they took enormous risks.’

Update on the Legality of Using Book Cover Images in OPACs…08.14.08

14 08 2008

Mary Minow writes today on the Law Librarian blog an interesting post titled “Book jackets – can libraries put pictures of book covers on the websites”[] which will continue the dialog on the matter:

Peter Hirtle and I have tried to analyze this over a couple of years and may write an article some day – so readers, feel free to weigh in. Meanwhile, Peter tells me that LJannounced that a million book covers are now available for download and display in library OPACs via LibraryThing.  I expect libraries will be delighted to try this service.

But who actually owns the copyright to the book covers? Likely the book publisher, though it could be an artist who designed the cover.  The question then is whether or not there is an exception in copyright law that allows libraries and others to scan and post images of the covers.

LibraryThing states: ‘Publishers and authors want libraries and bookstores to show their covers. Under U.S. law showing covers to show off books for sale, rental or commentary falls under Fair Use in most circumstances. (We are not lawyers and make no warrant that your use will be legal.)’

Minow take: I’m not aware of a court case that supports this statement, but readers please add comments if you are.  It seems that Fair Use would need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Questions should be asked such as: what is the library’s purpose in posting the scan? OPAC? Reading program? Posters? How creative is the cover? Did the cover have its own copyright or is it a small part of a much larger copyrighted work (i.e. the book)?

However, there’s another copyright exception that could be useful here — the “useful article” provision at 17 USC 113(c) which states:

In the case of a work lawfully reproduced in useful articles that have been offered for sale or other distribution to the public, copyright does not include any right to prevent the making, distribution, or display of pictures or photographs of such articles in connection with advertisements or commentaries related to the distribution or display of such articles, or in connection with news reports.

and 17 USC 101 defines ‘useful article’ as:

A “useful article” is an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. An article that is normally a part of a useful article is considered a ‘useful article’

Assuming the books are ‘useful articles’ it seems that Sect. 113 is more helpful than Fair Use. It seems that a strong argument can be made that with today’s enhanced online catalogs that include book reviews, the commentary criteria is met. For items that do not have reviews attached, there is still a possible argument that the pictures are used to help advertise the book. 

This assumes that ‘advertise’ can be used in a broad, nonprofit sense – to promote checkouts of the book, rather than sales…”

I have scanned images and “borrowed” them for our library’s OPAC.  Although we are a non-profit, special library where only staff use our OPAC and collections, this is a concern.

A Techie Tells How to “Get the Most Out of Libraries”…08.14.08

14 08 2008

William Hicks of “Digital Web” magazine has an interesting post on “Getting the Most Out of Your Library” from a techie point of view.  I would recommend reading the whole post but here is an excerpt:

“…Think of the library system as something akin to the open-source movement before software. Subsidized institutions buy books, subscribe to journals and proprietary databases, and pay people to help you find “stuff”, all essentially at no cost to you.

Most libraries fall into one of three categories: public, academic, or specialized. You probably checked out all your early readers from the first when you were a kid, may never have set foot in the second (even if you went to college), and—unless you are dealing with the law or medicine—you don’t need to know much about the third.

Many libraries communicate and share amongst themselves, and are supported by tax dollars, student-use fees, or the endowments or profits of their host institution. And, even though you may not attend, the goldmine is usually at the academic institutions so I’ll spend a lot of time talking about how you can harvest things from those…” 

His conclusion:

“I hope I have demonstrated that libraries may be worth returning to if they don’t currently receive any of your attention. Many large institutions have nothing but their patron’s, and often society’s, best interests at heart. While you may not get instant gratification from a library, and few if any are really cutting-edge when it comes to their use of web technologies, there is something to be said for the diversity and quality of information they provide you in your daily development tasks.”


How Librarians Should Cope With Burnout…08.13.08

13 08 2008

Julie on The Strange Librarian blog posted “Coping with Burnout (or how to stay aflame [] which is excerpted here:

“…Factors of Job Satisfaction:

  1. Futility and Avoidance
    • you stop doing the things that no longer have meaning. Sense of futility leads to avoidance. apathy sets in. I think the key to the whole burnout thing is to remain connected to your work, your customers, and it’s meaning. without it, you’re not doing meaningful work, just meaningless tasks- which you quickly drop because “life is too short.”
  2. Professional self-esteem
    • cultivating professional self-esteem
      • offer challenging assignments
      • stretch abilities
      • develop “go to” people
      • offer guidelines for best practices
      • practice positive feedback
      • maintain realistic standards of evaluation
  3. working conditions
    • You need organizational support. Like flexible scheduling.
  4. job related affect
  5. achievement support
  6. self-actualization
    • a meaningful sense of connection with customers needs to be fostered

Causes of stress:

  • Change. (my note: the lack of change is also a cause of stress.)
  • lack of people, time, money
  • “those people”: customers don’t understand what we do
    • (my note: only because we don’t tell them what we do. we need to set up expectations through day to day work and effective and ubiquitous marketing.)
  • security issues
  • the problem that won’t go away
  • technostress

What do you do?

  • get involved & grow. change up your work assignments, join a professional org or committee
  • transfer, job shadow/sharing/exchange
  • celebrate successes
  • strive for good customer service (internal and external). happy, satisfied people make you feel good too
  • “let go” when something goes wrong. review for improvement, don’t take customer comments personally.
  • escape. create a “vacation area” for staff. keep relaxation triggers in your personal area. take a REAL vacation.
  • reevaluate your job. stop trying to do everything. prioritize. set realistic goals. don’t procrastinate.
  • burnout didn’t happen overnight and should be addressed in stages. burnout may have been caused by work, but effects all areas of life.
  • harness creativity. creative thinking can spark enthusiasm. the right idea can decrease stress by improving or altering a process. boost your own morale.
  • use other coping strategies: exercise. take breaks. cultivate positive relationships outside of work. seek support from others in the profession. develop a new skill or take up a new hobby. blogs can be cathartic, social networks can help you stay connected.

If all else fails:

  • leave of absence
  • keep an updated resume
  • explore employment transitions.
  • LAUGH…”

European Union Digital Library Initiative-EU Pledges 120 Million Euros…08.13.08

13 08 2008

 LibGig reported yesterday []:

“…The EU asked for further efforts by its member states for ratification of a common digital library. Libraries in EU countries contain more than 2.5 billion books. But only about 1 percent of archival material is available in digital form.

The EU digital library, called Europeana, will also make music, paintings, photographs, and films digitally available in one portal.

‘Even though member states have made significant progress in making cultural content accessible on the Internet, more public and private investment is needed to speed up digitization,’ said Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for information society and media.

She hoped the library can be opened to the public before the end of the year.

The commission, the executive body of the EU, will provide 120 million euros in 2009-2010 for this project.

The commission asked EU member states to provide funding for digitization as the money allocated by the commission is far from enough. The total cost of digitizing 5 million books is already estimated at approximately 225 million euros, not including objects like manuscripts or paintings…”

What I’m Reading Off-Line Now…08.12.08

12 08 2008

While picking up my latest ILL from my public library (Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Johnson:, I also picked up in the new book section Who’s Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life by Richard Florida:  

A vast majority of my personal reading these days involves non-fiction. However, I do delve into some non-fiction occasionally.

I posted today that I may be a future Kindle customer but my hard to break habit is to get my personal reading materials FREE through libraries–What a concept for a librarian, eh? 


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