Librarians Remain Filter of “Sincereity”, “Credibility” and “Trust”…07.01.09

1 07 2009


Here is an interesting excerpt from Jon Johnson, Client Services Manager for Library Associates Companies / LAC (LibGig’s parent company), from the LibGIG post The Next Big Thing about Jason Cranford Teague‘s talk “Web 2.0 Applications and the Future”:

“…In the Web 3.0 world, websites will need ‘Sincerity’ as a key ingredient in terms of attracting visitors who come back and use the service, or to follow the traffic generated. Two other aspects that go hand-in-hand with ‘Sincerity’ are ‘Credibility’ and ‘Trust.’ The sites and services that have these three aspects will be the ones that are visited most and gain the most traffic. The drawback to this is the risk that people will tend to those sources that most speak to them, rather than becoming more exposed to different views and tones of dialogue, although I found surprising that he refuted the common misconception that people read what they can on the internet and take it as truth. He said that his research found the opposite is actually true, particularly with the younger generation of users. They tend to look at content and information much more skeptically than people realize, more so than any other generation. The most trusted source of information for the younger generation of Americans is Jon Stewart firs and Steven Colbert second — I rest my case.

Here is the crux of his talk: historically there has always been ‘Trusted Filters’— people or organizations that have the trust and credibility to present information correctly. Examples are parents, teachers, and LIBRARIANS; these are people who are trusted to provide the information requested in a way that is not colored and is more forthright and honest. Those networks have, over time, moved from the home/neighborhood to the media (print, radio, TV which is now too colored to be credible), to the computer (too much information to filter through). The next step will be to leverage applications like Twitter, Facebook, etc. to search out sources of information. Finding “Trusted Filters” is the next step in Web 3.0 evolution, networks of people sharing information that filter the news and information they receive and consider when making decisions.

Teague says there are applications/websites that are starting to move in this direction. and are two such applications. They will take your IM buddy list and link through all your buddies to source out experts in certain fields who may best be able to answer a question.”

Warning to Libraries and Librarians…07.01.09

1 07 2009


Judith A. Siess on the OPL Plus (not just for OPLs anymore) highlights an interesting and very importnat article/warning in her post Lessons for Corporate Librarins –and Others which is excerpted here:

When the Internet as a popular research tool began affecting the lives of librarians and information professionals and their clients, accountability for contributing to the mission (i.e., bottom line) of one’s parent organization—whether a for-profit or not-for-profit—became the most critical driver behind the survival of corporate libraries.’

Thus begins a great article by special library gurus Toby Pearlstein (retired from Bain & Co., Inc., Boston, Massachusetts) and James Matarazzo(retired Dean, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston). They outline the ways corporate librarians can—and, in fact, must—make their value known to the decision-makers in their organizations

Read, understand, internalize, and implement the message in this article—before it’s too late for you!

Pearlstein, Toby and James Matarazzo, Survival Lessons for Librarians: Corporate Libraries—A Soft Analysis and a WarningSearcher 17(6):12-17,52, June 2009, available for US$2.95 at

“Library Websites for Mobile Devices”…06.20.09

30 06 2009


Here is an excerpt from the Centered Librarian‘s post Library Websites for Mobile Devices which is worth reading completely:

“The Mobile Libraries Blog has an executive summary of the University of Cambridge’s M-Libraries: Information Use On The Move report from the Arcadia Programme. While there’s a substantial list of ways to integrate mobile devices with libraries to better serve patrons, one of the simplest things – ‘Ensuring that the library website is accessible and will resize to smaller screens…to be ready for increasing numbers of netbook users and mobile internet users in the next few years’ – may be the most difficult thing for some institutions. The difficulty is not technical, but a combination of internal politics and marketing…”

“Creating Measurable Library Objectives”…06.29.09

29 06 2009

Here is a good presentation from NELINET on strategic planning in “Creating Measurable Library Objectives” relevant to everyone:

Roving Reference and Other Tools…06.26.09

26 06 2009


From Justine Shaffner, the Librarian is IN, comes this from her post New Roving Reference and Assistive Technology Tools:

“Back in the days when libraries weren’t quite so busy, if I didn’t have a constant stream of questions at the reference desk, I’d get bored and start trawling the stacks for people who looked confused.  I was delighted when we got a tablet computer as I no longer had to drag the patron over to a PAC or run between them and my computer for call numbers and answers. Having the internet with me at all times helped a lot when I needed to show the customer searching the art books for Van Gogh’s Starry Night how easily she could find it on Google Images, but while I could see the same catalog interface as our patrons, there wasn’t a way in to the staff side of our materials database.  That put a damper on my speed as quick, powerful searches and circulation functions still had to be done from the reference desk.

So I was intrigued by three of the products in the May/June 2009 issue of Public Libraries. EnvisionWare now has a LibraryPDA(TM) that can evidently do all staff side functions (plus inventory).  And for those of you with a SirsiDynix ILS, there’s Horizon PocketCirc 1.0 with functions similar to the LibraryPDA but with remote access also available, so you no longer have to write down titles and barcodes while checking out books at a school, offsite program or town event.

The third product would be great not only for visually challenged patrons, but also for commuters wanting to make effective use of travel time. ReadSpeaker works with WilsonWeb’s many full text databases and converts articles into audio for immediate listening (will wonders never cease – let’s hope all our database vendors follow suit)…”

Couldn’t Attend SLA? Can’t Make It to ALA? Try OPALescence Online August 13th…06.26.09

26 06 2009



ALL Librarians Can Support & Participate

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

    OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All Librarians

    Has your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues?

    Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements.

    Host: TAP Information Services

Organizing the Library for Social Media…06.26.09

26 06 2009


There is an interesting and relevant post from Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategy blog discussing the latest Forrester Research survey today titled Report: Companies Should Organize for Social Media in a “Hub and Spoke” Model which is excerpted here:

“I often get asked by brands: ‘How should we organize our company for social media?’ or ‘Which roles do we need’, or ‘Which department is in charge’. So for our latest report (clients can access all the details) answers just that, it has data and graphs about spending, brand maturity in the social space, which department ‘owns’ the program, and how companies are organizing.

Companies organize in three distinct models
For this post, let’s focus in on how companies are organizing. There are three basic models that I’ve observed and surveyed brands:

  1. The Tire (Distributed): Where each business unit or group may create its own social media programs without a centralized approach. We call this approach the ‘tire,’ as it originates at the edges of the company.
  2. The Tower (Centralized): We refer to this centralization as the ‘tower’ — a standalone group within a company that’s responsible for social media programs, often within corporate marketing or corporate communicaitons.
  3. The Hub and Spoke (Cross Functional): Like the hub on a bicycle wheel, a cross-functional group that represents multiple stakeholders across the company assembles in the middle of the organization. The hub facilitates resource sharing and cross-functional communications (via the ‘spokes’ in the wheel) to those at the edge of the organization (or the ‘tire’)…

The faster brands can realize that approaching social marketing and collaboration isn’t about technology, but about process and change management the better off they are…”

More on Mobile QR Codes Used in Libraries…06.26.09

26 06 2009


If you are interested in QR code use in libraries, there are several older posts to check out.  Here is an excerpt from Helene Blowers who has a discussion  on LibraryBytes today QR Tags & Concept Leadership:

“Concept leadership is one of areas that my department, Digital Services, tries to focus on. It’s important for us to continuously keep on top of new and emerging technologies and explore ways that the library and our customers can benefit from them.

QR tags is a technology that has actually been around for a few years. But until the mass adoption of smartphones with cameras, there wasn’t a dominant market yet for their use. When we launched our mobile text-based catalog early this spring we began to think of ways that we could use technology to market it smartly. QR tags seemed like a natural choice, since they are specifically designed for mobile devices. While we’re still playing with this idea some and refining the concept, the idea of placing QR tags in strategically defined places within the library on informational signs does seem to have a lot of merit. Not only does it have the potential to introduce the public to a new technology, it also tells those who are already tech savvy and familiar with mobile QR tags that the library has a mobile catalog.

For those that are not familiar with how QR tags work, here’s a short overview and a video demonstration…”

Lorcan Dempsey included a piece today about library barcodes in Apple, Netbooks and Barcodes :

“…One of the hits of the conference was the discussion by Kate Robinson of the use of QR Codes in the catalog at the University of Bath (blogged here earlier this year). It prompted discussion of the variety of ways in which people and materials could be tied into the network.

The Globe and Mail had several stories about capturing data from codes.

  • Databars. A discussion of the use of Databars, smaller than barcodes, in retail and supply-chain operations.
  • Samplesaint: a story about how this company, which creates digital media for cell phones, now distributes discount coupons for redemption by on-screen scanning at the checkout. Coupons can be received in various ways, including in response to an on-the-spot request by texting a number found on the relevant shelf.
  • There is also a general discussion of the use of cell phones as payment devices.

Interestingly, these were opposite an advert for IBM (featuring a barcode image) which promoted its ability to make supply chains smarter and more efficient.”

See Also: Simple Use of QR Codes in Libraries

Libraries and Nex Gen Mobiles

QR Codes – “Transpromo Cross Media Interactivity

Libraries and Librarians – Strategies for Competing…06.18.09

18 06 2009


There is a good post titled Who Are Your Competitors? in a series by David Lee King in which he concludes with the following:

“…OK – so libraries have competition. What can you do about that? Here are some thoughts – please add more:

  • What do you do better than everyone else? Focus on that. Prioritize that.
  • You’re a natural community gathering place. Focus on your community. Feed it. Grow it.
  • Ask people why they don’t use your library. Use that information to improve your services.
  • Find your largest population segment of ‘potential patrons’ and focus on growing patrons there.
  • Don’t focus on yourself or your stuff – instead, turn your focus on your customers and their needs.
  • Maybe it’s something as simple as rearranging your stuff so normal people can actually find things. We can do better than LC or Dewey call number order. Really.
  • Work on improving the experience at your library – both in the library and digitally.

What are you doing to compete for your patrons’ attention? And … since it’s a competition – what can we do to win?”

Open Library Project…06.18.09

18 06 2009


It is worth mentioning the Reference Site of the Day highlighting of  the interesting Open Library project:

“The Open Library is a project of the Internet Archive and partially funded by a grant from the California State Library. The goal of the Open Library is to provide one web page for every book ever published. So far the library has collected over 30 million searchable bibliographic records (20 million are available), built a database to store them, and made available over one million full-text digitized books.

Book records come from a variety of libraries, publishers and other digital content repositories. Another goal of the Open Library is to create a new metadata schema for bibliographic records: the project has a working group for those interested in discussing the metadata to be included in the records beyond MARC data…”

List of Libraries Lending Amazon’s Kindle…06.17.09

17 06 2009


Despite the controversy surrounding libraries lending Kindles to patrons, many are doing so.  This is an excerpt from the post Libraries Lending Kindles from the Kindle 2 Review, Kindle DX Review, Books blog:

“…All these libraries, and the people in charge, deserve kudos for pushing the boundaries. This is based on just 1-2 hrs research so its just the tip of the iceberg -

  1. Mary White, Director of Howe Library in Hanover, NH - The Kindle Library Loaning Page. Lending out Kindles since Jan 14th, 2009.
  2. Sparta Public Library in Sparta, NJ have 2 Kindles for lending.
  3. LaCrosse Public Library lends out 1 Kindle.
  4. Rancho Mirage Public Library lends out Kindles, although its unclear whether its internally or patrons can take them home.
  5. Texas A&M University Libraries have 18 Kindles (add your name to the waiting list here)

[15 Kindle lenders in list as of posting]

    Does your library lend out a kindle? Do leave a comment so we can add your library to the list.

    There is also a Facebook Group of organizations and libraries lending Kindles…”

    Library Google Profile and More…06.16.09

    16 06 2009

    unquiet library

    The above is a great image posted today on the Unquiet Library blog showing how they use Google profile and various social media.

    FREE This Friday Online – An Informal Conversation about the Future of ALA, Libraries, and Librarianship…06.16.09

    16 06 2009

    Friday, June 19, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, noon Central, 11:00 a.m. Mountain, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, and 5:00 p.m. GMT:

      ALA Connections Salon: The Future, with Special Guest Joe Janes, Assoc. Professor in the Information School at the University of WashingtonJoin us for an informal conversation about the future of ALA, libraries, and librarianship.

      Host: American Library Association

      Location: ALA OPAL 100 Room

      Note: All OPAL public events are free of charge and open to everyone worldwide. Most OPAL online programs last about an hour.

    OCLC’s Cloud Computing for Libraries – Ramifications…06.10.09

    10 06 2009


    OCLC seems to jump from one pan on the fire to the next this year. Let me point out below the Library 2.0 gang post Library System Suppliers View of OCLC Web-Scale about their most recent interesting podcast about another recent and potentially controversial announcement. It is worth a listen when you find the time.

    “In last month’s show there was some speculation as to what reaction there would be from the organisations that supply ‘traditional’ library systems to the OCLC announcement of their web-scale, cloud computing, library system initiative.

    In an attempt to answer that speculation I took the unusual step of bringing together a specific set of Library 2.0 Gang members from that community as against our usual open house of whoever is available.  The result was an interesting conversation between Ex Libris’ Carl Grant, Nicole Engard from LibLime, Talis’ Rob Styles and newcomer from Axiell, Boris Zetterlund…”

    Library 2.0 Gang 06/09: Library System Suppliers view of OCLC Web-scale [00:50:35m]: Download

    Social Libraries and the Growing Need for Social Librarians…06.10.09

    10 06 2009


    There is a good INMAGIC post - When Libraries Go Social, Role of Librarians Becomes More Important Than Ever – that articulates the current and expanding roles of librarians as our professional and technological world continues to evolve which is excerpted here:

    “When we talk about the trend towards social libraries, one of the next major questions on librarians’ minds is, What’s going to happen to me? How is my role affected? The answer has a bright outlook, because with social libraries comes the need for social librarians.

    It’s a role that calls upon core skills of content management, organization, and tech savvy, and asks librarians to take them to a new level, making the role more important than ever. We’ll explore it more below in our latest Social Libraries 101 course.

    In a social library, librarians continue to manage diverse information provided by content publishers, including business, scientific, technical, and community information (traditional, vetted content). But patrons are allowed to add tags, comments, and ratings (social content), which increases content quality, as we discussed last week.

    A librarian is needed to oversee content development, maintain structure, and manage this content community. The social librarian assumes the crucial role of information organizer and moderator, managing both vetted and social information. Social librarians monitor and modify taxonomies as patrons browse and categorize information on their own. They sit at the center of the knowledge repository, and manage the knowledge community and its assets, such as by ‘weeding and feeding.’

    Librarian – The Obsolete Man?…06.10.09

    10 06 2009

    Many thanks to Library Attack for pointing out the great and in many ways powerful The Obsolete Man episode of The Twilight Zone with Burgess Meredith and Fritz Weaver about a librarian “who is deemed ‘obsolete’ by a dystopian future.”

    It’s extremely interesting to me that the aforementioned librarian also 1) believes in God and 2) has as his most valuable possession a Bible. [I often forget we  Americans, in 1961, including those in the theater and librarians, weren't  as "intelligent", "enlightened" and "politically correct" as they are today. ;-)]

    Regardless of your position, you can enjoy “The Obsolete Man” on several levels – even if it is from 1961.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    FREE August 13, 2009 Online Conference for ALL Librarians…06.09.09

    9 06 2009



    ALL Librarians Can Support & Participate

    OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

    Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

      OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All Librarians

      Has your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues?

      Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements.

      Host: TAP Information Services

    UTS Library Student Videos…06.09.09

    9 06 2009

    Here are some entertaining library promotional videos from Australia’s UTS as related in the Libraries Interact blog:

    The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Library recently gave students the chance to win $1,000 in the UTS LIB:Flicks 2009 competition.

    Students submitted short videos (less than 2min) to promote UTS Library services and resources to new undergraduate students…”

    Librarians and Mobile Technology…06.08.09

    8 06 2009

    Here are some thought-provoking comments from Karen Coombs at the University of Houston Libraries on mobile technologies and librarians:

    “…I wonder sometimes if libraries are paying enough attention to these issues when it comes to mobile technologies. Most of the mobile efforts that I’ve seen at libraries thus far have been focuses on making library content, services and resources available to users with mobile devices. There seems to be little investigation going on into how the way deploying mobile technologies to library staff impacts our ability to serve users. Certainly deployment of mobile tech changes the nature of the relationships between librarians and faculty. Also there were occasions when it seemed that mobile tech changed the way in which librarians were able to collaborate with one another. Our pilot seemed to indicate that there are significant advantages and benefits to providing library staff with mobile technologies. As a result, more mobile devices will be deployed here over the next year. I hope that the library continues to examine the ways in which this technology changes the work of librarians and library staff.”

    First Library System to Drop Dewey…06.05.09

    5 06 2009


    Library Journal reported today:

    “The six-branch (plus bookmobile) Rangeview Library District, Adams County, CO, will be the first library system in the country to fully drop the Dewey Decimal Classification in favor of a system adapted from that used in the book industry.  

    While Dewey has been dropped in some smaller branches, Rangeview’s biggest building will have 85,000 items.

    Rangeview’s WordThink system, like that in the Perry branch of Maricopa County Library District, outside Phoenix, draws on BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications)…

    Some other libraries, according to Rangeview, are experimenting with BISAC: Frankfort Public Library District, IL; Richmond Public Library, BC; and Arapahoe Library District, CO.”

    University Library Loans Kindles to Faculty…06.05.09

    5 06 2009


    Gerrit van Dyk of Shaping Libraries shared the following today:

    “…Our Interlibrary Loan Office [BYU] was recently approved to officially start a pilot loaning Amazon Kindles to our university faculty.


    We looked at the number of requests facutly requests which we had to cancel, either because they were too new or too popular (no other library would lend them). We found that about 10% of these requests could have been filled by purchasing a Kindle Book. Why not try to fill these in a faster, and often, cheaper way?

    An interesting sidenote: almost half of the requests we could have filled through the Kindle Store were scholarly monographs.


    So far we are limiting the service to faculty only but this is just to keep the demand down. If it takes off we will buy more devices and open it up to other university populations (staff, grad students, etc)…”

    “9 Ways People Respond to Your Content Online”…06.04.09

    4 06 2009

    Thanks to iLibrarian by Ellyssa for pointing out Life Beyond Code blog post 9 Ways People Respond to Your Content Online with this great graphic:


    “…So, here are the nine ways your audience will respond to your online content:

    1. Spam: If your content does not provide a reasonable ROII (return-on-investment for an interaction) for the reader or is self-serving or simply useless, the reader will mark it as spam. Posting something that may be assessed, as “spam” is the fastest way to losing credibility.
    2. Skip: The reader makes an assessment that he or she won’t lose much by reading it. In this case, the reader has not written you off yet but if you consistently create content that is worth “skipping,” the reader might write you off.
    3. Scan: The reader thinks there are only a few parts that are of relevance and wants to get right to the core of the content and skip the rest.
    4. Stop: The reader is touched by the article and stops to think about the article, it’s relevance and what it means to him or her personally and professionally.
    5. Save: The content is so good that the reader might want to re-visit this multiple times.
    6. Shift: The article is transformational. The reader is so deeply affected (in a positive way) by the article that it shifts some of their values and beliefs. In other words, this piece of writing will transform the reader and make him or her grow.
    7. Send: The content is not only useful to the reader but also to one or more people in the reader’s network. The reader simply emails the article or a link to it to people that he or she cares.
    8. Spread: The reader finds the article fascinating enough to spread it to anyone and everyone via a blog, twitter or the social networks that he or she belongs.
    9. Subscribe: This is the ultimate expression of engagement and a vote of confidence that you will continue to provide great content. When the reader wants to continue listening to your thoughts, he or she will subscribe…”

    “Friending Libraries: Why libraries can become nodes in people’s social networks”…05.29.09

    29 05 2009

    “Lee discussed Pew Internet’s latest findings and why they suggest that libraries can play a role in people’s social networks in the future. He described the reasons that people rely more and more on their social networks as they share ideas, learn, solve problems, and seek social support. And he explored how libraries can act as ‘nodes’ in people’s networks.”

    NEW ONLINE Library Conference for ALL Librarians – OPALESCENCE…05.28.09

    28 05 2009


    NO FEES – NO DUES – NO TRAVEL —- Just Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

    Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

      OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All LibrariansHas your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues? Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements.

      Host: TAP Information Services Schedule of Events:OPALESCENCE Conference Schedule (coming soon)

    How Libraries Should Use Facebook…05.27.09

    27 05 2009


    I thought Stephen Abram‘s post today Facebook and Libraries has some important points about libraries using Facebook:

    “There’s some emerging consensus on how libraries might use Facebook. I am no expert but, as usual I have an opinion.

    You have a choice. You can create a regular Facebook Page or a Facebook Group (sometimes called a Facebook Fan Page). Simple really. What would work best in which situation?

    As other’s have noted (here and here), it can be very problematic if you use a page for your library institutional presence. (‘Facebook ties a page to the account of the person who originally created it and I quote’ and ‘the original creator of the Page may never be removed by other Page admins.’ So, if your original creator leaves under a cloud your organization is at risk.)

    Groups let you own your presence on an institutional level and allow the creator to be removed and assigned to others. For comparisons of pages and groups see this and this.

    Of course the creation of a Facebook Group for your library does NOT absolve staff from having individual Facebook pages. Staff and management are individual experts and the key competitive advantage your library has against the generic search engines. If they’re not marketed well, and marketing themselves and building relationships with their key user groups then your library is just vanilla.

    So, my opinion is that the library and it’s important segments have group pages and that librarians and key staff have their own pages. Try it.”

    “Futures of Learning”- “Digital Media in Community Libraries”…05.27.09

    27 05 2009

    Here are some intersting highlights from the important post  Digital Media in Community Libraries, Part 1: Mobile Media from the Futures of Learning project funded by the MacArthur Foundation:

    “…According to a report by comScore, as of January 2009 some 22.4 million mobile phone users were accessing the mobile web on a daily basis, and this usage had doubled since one year prior (Burns, 2009)…

    Mobile technologies clearly allow libraries to expand the range of forms for distributing content…many libraries have begun offering e-books and digital audio books for download. For example, since 2005 cardholders of the New York Public Library have been able to download audio books from the Internet any time of the day or night simply by going to the library’s website and entering their card number and a PIN (… The New York Public Library and thousands of others use OverDrive’s technology, and OverDrive’s website allows users to search for libraries offering free digital downloads ( Libraries have also begun offering not only digital content, but also the means by which to use it. As Ellyssa Kroski (2008) discusses in her recent report, On the Move with the Mobile Web, institutions such as the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, Illinois ( allow patrons to check out iPod Nanos with audio books loaded on them.

    QR codes could have multiple uses in libraries. As librarian Lex Rigby explains, currently in libraries while conventional barcodes are used to link an item to its catalog record, the information is limited and it can only be accessed by scanning the barcode at the check-out desk. On the other hand, QR codes could be used to store descriptions, images, useful links, etc. for all types of library materials. A library patron could use their mobile phone to scan the QR code to access this information ( The library at the University of Bath is at the forefront of using QR codes to link to their catalog ( This expanded range of information available at the click of a (camera phone) button is obviously time-saving and efficient. Thus far, however, the use of QR codes in public libraries in the U.S. does not seem to be widespread although such two dimensional barcodes have been generated for the web spaces of each branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (

    text messaging (or SMS – short message service) is an obvious means of inexpensive and efficient communication, and several public libraries have implemented message options for their cardholders. Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Library System ( allows patrons the choice of receiving text message reminders about upcoming due dates for materials and start dates for courses (Kroski, 2008). The Skokie Public Library in Skokie, Illinois offers such alerts as well as updates on holds placed and the option of renewing items via SMS ( For similar purposes, some libraries are also using Twitter (, a micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (tweets) to their ‘followers’ and receive tweets from those they signed up to follow. Posts can be viewed on a computer or an Internet-enabled mobile phone.

    In addition to using mobile-enabled messaging, many libraries are designing their websites to be mobile friendly, which involves making the information concise, limiting the number of links, using descriptive icons, and including ‘home’ and ‘parent-link’ icons (West, Hafner, & Faust, 2006). At the current moment, however, there are still issues with display quality across different devices (Liston, 2009). Again, among community libraries the Skokie Public Library emerges as an exemplar as the library has designed a version of its website specifically for viewing on the small screen of a mobile device. The library catalog can also be browsed using a phone or PDA (with AirPAC, a mobile version of OPAC). In a recent presentation, Megan Fox (2009) has outlined numerous types of library friendly applications designed for the iPhone and other smartphones. Such applications enable users to find public libraries, organize notes, and conduct mobile searches. For example, the Washington D.C. Public Library has an iPhone application specifically designed to navigate its services. Some libraries also provide audio tours via mobile phones ( A final mobile service deserving mention is the WorldCat Mobile pilot project (, which enables users to search for library materials as well as libraries, maps, and directions…

    …As library professionals participate in Google groups (, blogs (Gerry McKiernan’s, and conferences ( dedicated to exploring mobile libraries, the future promises to bring more ways that mobile phones and PDAs can be used to serve the library’s mission in terms of expanding content, services, and outreach…”

    Mobile Library Services in 2009…05.27.09

    27 05 2009

    Mobile reference

    Here is an excerpt from Tom Peter’s Summer of Mobile Library Services post on ALA Tech Source:

    “…2009 seems to be shaping up to be the Summer of Mobile Library Services... Many projects, services, conferences, and other groovy happenings related to mobile library services seem to be ramping up and rolling out this summer…

    InfoQuest, a collaborative six-month pilot project to deliver short answer reference services to mobile phone users, will begin in July. The website is at  Sorry, the number to send text message reference questions to is not yet ready to be announced.  Altarama has generously provided access to their SMSreference service (, training, and tech support for the pilot project. About three dozen libraries and library-related organizations have agreed to participate in the pilot project.  Even a few solo librarians are participating…

    There are scads of mobile library services being developed, tested, deployed, and evaluated.  One of the larger pilot projects is the WorldCat Mobile pilot project ( OCLC has partnered with Boopsie to test a system where you can use your mobile phone to look up a book, find a library near you, map a route to a nearby library, or even (gasp!) call the library.

    …over at my old stomping grounds, Western Illinois University, you can send a text message to your cell phone containing the call number of that interesting book you just found. It’s part of a larger initiative spearheaded by the CARLI library consortium.  The WIU press release and embedded promotional video are at here

    The growth of the mobile library movement has spawned a host of conferences.  In late June in Vancouver there will be a mobile libraries conference (…

    On July 30 and 31 the Alliance Library System in Illinois and Learning Times will hold the first Handheld Librarian Conference, using the Adobe Connect webconferencing system...

    a Mobile Libraries blog over a t  There’s also a Google Group, a Facebook page, and a gaggle of other 2.0 groups.

    …check out the July 2008 issue of Library Technology Reports by Elyssa Kroski, On the Move with the Mobile Web:  Libraries and Mobile Technologies.  An open access version of the report is available here. You can also check out Elyssa discussing her work on this blog here. Several books of contributed chapters have started to appear, such as M-Libraries:  Libraries on the Move to Provide Virtual Access [based on the presentations given at the first M-Libraries Conference in Nov. 2007], edited by Gill Needham and Mohamed Ally.

    M is the new E. The lingo of librarianship is catching up quickly.  We now have m-libraries and MOPACs (mobile OPACs)…

    OPALESCENCE – NEW FREE Online Library Conference…05.26.09

    26 05 2009

    Redux: Important NEW and FREE Online Conference OPEN TO ALL


    Cool – you don’t have to join a club :-)

    NO FEES – NO DUES – NO TRAVEL —- Just Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

    Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

      OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All Librarians Has your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues? Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements.

      Host: TAP Information Services Schedule of Events: OPALESCENCE Conference Schedule (coming soon)

    FREE Online Conference for ALL Librarians – “OPALESCENCE”…05.22.09

    22 05 2009


    Cool – you don’t have to join a club :-)

    NO FEES – NO DUES – NO TRAVEL —- Just Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is planning something special:

    Thursday, August 13, 2009 beginning at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:

      OPALESCENCE: A Free Online Conference for All Librarians Has your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues? Participate in OPALESCENCE, a free online conference for all librarians and fellow travelers. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over a two-day period. Watch this space for more announcements. 

      Host: TAP Information Services Schedule of Events: OPALESCENCE Conference Schedule (coming soon)

    OCLC Concedes to Library Community–Ends Potential Records Reign of Terror…05.20.09

    20 05 2009


    The Panlibus blog post today OCLC Dumps New Record Reuse Policy reports on the demise of the library records “Death Star”:

    “Jennifer Younger, Chair of the OCLC Review Board of Shared Data Creation & Stewardshipannounced in a presentation on May 18th [video stream and presentation slides here] that they are to ‘Formally withdraw the proposed policy

    From her presentation:

    • We affirm that a policy is needed, but not this policy
    • Formally withdraw the proposed policy
    • Until a new policy is in place, reaffirm the existence and applicability of the Nov. 16, 1987 ‘Guidelines for the Use and Transfer of OCLC-Derived Records’

    She goes on to explain how they are to move on to ‘Discuss the role and value of WorldCat in the information ecosystem, and ways in which it can be leveraged’ – ‘Devise a process for drafting and maintaining a new policy’ [quotes from slides]

    In her speech [from 16 minutes in] she indicated that the process for drawing up a new policy ‘must involve the governance structure of OCLC – the proposed policy is fundamental to the functioning of OCLC’…”


    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 683 other followers