Evergreen Open Source Library Software Implementation Expanding…09.30.08

30 09 2008

It seems like Evergreen is going more mainstream quickly as more libraries implement the Evergreen ILS software.  LIS Wire reports today [http://liswire.com/node/202] :

The Grand Rapids Public Library has gone live with Evergreen, the consortial-quality open-source library automation software. GRPL follows Branch District Library in Branch County as the second of seven public libraries in the Michigan Evergreen project that will migrate to Evergreen by the end of the year. Michigan Evergreen is a shared-catalog project administered by the Michigan Library Consortium (MLC). Equinox Software, Inc., the support and development company for Evergreen, provided bumper-to-bumper support during the data migration process.

‘The Evergreen catalog was developed for the 275 libraries in the PINES Library system in Georgia,’ said Marcia Warner, director of Grand Rapids Public Library. ‘The move to the Evergreen system allows us more flexibility to adapt the catalog to meet our patrons’ needs, offer innovative features such as freezing holds and creating book bags, while at the same time reducing costs.’

“We applaud the Grand Rapids Public Library in taking steps to transform their library service and to be at the forefront for the state as the leader in moving to this new technology and setting an example for other libraries throughout the state to follow,’ said Lakeland Library Cooperative Director Sandra Wilson. Brad LaJeunesse, Equinox company president, added, ‘In addition to up-front cost savings and a support plan that really delivers, MLC now has the security and flexibility that open source brings to software decisions.’

The Grand Rapids Public Library was founded in 1871 and was originally located in City Hall. Today the library operates out of its main location on Library Street as well as seven other branches located throughout the city. Grand Rapids Public Library currently houses 925,000 bibliographic items and serves a population of over 197,000 residents.

The Grand Rapids Public Library will oversee day-to-day administration for the new server for all seven pilot libraries, and MLC will provide support and training to the participating libraries. Equinox will also provide ongoing technical support to MLC’s Evergreen implementation.

The library’s website can be seen at http://www.grpl.org and their new online catalog can be viewed athttp://grpl.michiganevergreen.org . For more information about the Michigan Evergreen project, see the project wiki at http://mlcnet.org/wiki or follow the latest activity at http://www.mlcnet.org/evergreen, the Michigan Evergreen blog…”


How to Start Text Messaging Reference Service…09.30.08

30 09 2008

Here is a great post [http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/librarianinblack/2008/09/text-a-libraria.html] on starting or thinking about starting a text messaging reference service in your library by Sarah Houghton-Jan:

Interested in offering text messaging reference services to your users but unsure where to start?  Take a look at TextALibrarian.com.  This was created by a small start-up mobile Q&A service called Mosio.  They won the Mobile Category at SXSW this year.  They have a number of beta library customers including Yale, UC Berkeley, University of Kansas, and UC Merced among others.  There is a demo on the website that you can try to see how it works, including both sides of the conversation (basically you get to text in a question, and answer it yourself through the web interface). 

I was highly, highly impressed.  The demo interface was easy to use as the librarian–clean, crisp, simple.  No or very little training would be required of the librarians staffing it.  And for the user on the phone end, it was easy to ask a question and the response came back easy to read too (as text messages usually are).  Nice work, Mosio!

I am all over this as soon as our library is ready to go in that direction (which I hope will be soon).  I have a feeling I’m in the same boat as many other libraries who are also still hoping to get IM Reference into the library culture.  It will happen someday for all of us …  it’s just a matter of time.”

School Library Tutorial Part 1 Now Online…09.29.08

29 09 2008

Although I am not a school librarian and do not plan to be at this point, it is interesting to view the tutorial online by the Colorado Library Consortium as Blake posted on the LIS News blog:

Part 1 of the two Part School Library 101 tutorial is now available.
Visit our tutorial page for more information and the links.

This 35 minute tutorial is designed for new school library professionals and paraprofessionals and it provides an overview of running a school library and includes many resources for learning more on your own.”

Note: CLiC reports: “School Library 101 (part two, coming soon)”

New Data Shows Americans Expect Companies to Have a Presence in Social Media…09.29.08

29 09 2008

Cone, “…a strategy and communications agency with over 25 years experience building and maintaining trusted relationships between clients and stakeholders”, posted   [http://www.coneinc.com/content1182] the following that illustrates the growing importance of social media to everyone:

“BOSTON (September 25, 2008) – Almost 60 percent of Americans interact with companies on a social media Web site, and one in four interact more than once per week. These are among the findings of the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study.

According to the survey, 93 percent of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, while an overwhelming 85 percent believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its consumers via social media. In fact, 56 percent of American consumers feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment.

‘The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,’ explains Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, ‘it isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.’

When asked about specific types of interactions, Americans believe:

– Companies should use social networks to solve my problems (43%)
– Companies should solicit feedback on their products and services (41%)
– Companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand (37%)
– Companies should market to consumers (25%)
– Hard-to-reach consumers

Men, a much sought-after target in the online space, are twice as likely as women to interact frequently (one or more times per week) with companies via social media (33% to 17%, respectively).

‘The ease and efficiency of online conversation is likely a draw for men who historically do not seek out the same level of interaction with companies as women,’ says Hollywood.

Likewise, of younger, hard-to-reach consumers (ages 18-34), one-third believe companies should actively market to them via social networks, and the same is true of the wealthiest households (household income of $75,000+). Two-thirds of the wealthiest households and the largest households (3 or more members) feel stronger connections to brands they interact with online.

‘All of this is great news for marketers,’ Hollywood explains. ‘Men and younger consumers are traditionally the most challenging to reach, while the highest income households are typically very desirable; here they are saying “Come market to us and interact with us online.” This is really a license to put more energy and resources into this medium and do it effectively.’

About the survey:

The 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study presents the findings of an online survey conducted September 11-12, 2008 by Opinion Research Corporation among 1,092 adults comprising 525 men and 567 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3%.

About Cone:

Cone LLC (www.coneinc.com) is a strategy and communications agency engaged in building brand trust. Cone creates stakeholder loyalty and long-term relationships through the development and execution of Cause Branding, Brand Marketing, Corporate Responsibility and Crisis Prevention and Management initiatives. Cone is a part of the Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com). Omnicom is a leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, interactive, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.”

Library School Survey Results Posted…09.29.08

29 09 2008

The following post by Meredith Farkas [http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/09/27/library-school-survey-results/] is fodder for considering the state of librarian education:

“A few weeks ago, I posted a survey to Survey Monkey to get people’s views about their library school education and what they think should be taught in library school that isn’t (or wasn’t when they were in school). The 91 responses I got were really interesting and I wanted to post them so everyone could take a peek:

Basic Survey Responses (PDF)
Open-Ended Responses for #1 (PDF)
Open-Ended Responses for #2 (PDF)
Open-Ended Responses for #3 (PDF)
Open-Ended Responses for #4 (PDF)

Some interesting things from the survey:

Of the people who responded, less than 50% thought that library school didn’t prepare for them for their work in libraries. Some who said yes mentioned that they only answered yes because of their internship/practicum.

The biggest things that people thought should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that weren’t taught when they were in library school were management (#1 by quite a lot), Web 2.0/emerging technology, instruction, web design/programming, and conflict management/customer service/dealing with difficult people. A lot of schools are teaching the first four topics these days, but not all are doing it in much depth or in a practical way. I was surprised to find that still, Florida State is only offering one instruction course and it’s designed for people in a K-12 setting. Considering that instruction is a part of the work of librarians in just about every setting, it’s surprising to me that it isn’t being emphasized more in library schools (though I’m sure others are doing a much better job). Management also really isn’t taught in enough depth in library schools. I frequently think about getting an MBA, because I want to know more about managing people and resources, budgeting, strategic planning, marketing, etc. The one class we had that was about management was really interesting, but it was very focused on theory and I really wished there was a ‘Management II’ and ‘Management III’ that would have gone into more depth and would have been more focused on the practical. With some librarians going straight into management positions (or even directorships) after library school, it’s critical that students are prepared to be great managers by library schools…”

“Compentent” People and Change…09.26.08

26 09 2008

I liked this post today [http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/] from Stephe Abram (Stephen’s Lighthouse);

Scott McLeod quotes Seth Godin this week:

‘Competent people resist change. Why? Because change threatens to make them less competent. And competent people like being competent. That’s who they are, and sometimes that’s all they’ve got. No wonder they’re not in a hurry to rock the boat. . . . In the face of change, the competent are helpless.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to change … to reinvent … or to redesign. No, it doesn’t take time; it takes will. The will to change. The will to take a risk. The will to become incompetent – at least for a while.’

Here’s the original Fast Company article ‘Change Agent‘.

Our field is loaded with very competent people and that’s pretty good – – and bad. This article and quote would make an interesting discussion group topic for groups of competent people. A wide ranging and open discussion facilitated by someone who put the discussion on the right path for the best responses to times of turbulent change would be quite exciting.

The opposite of competent management isn’t incompetent management. It’s comfortable management. It’s myopic management. It’s careless management.

‘In times of change learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to work in a world that no longer exists.’ (attributed to Eric Hoffer)…”

Free Webinars – “MaintainIT Project”…09.26.08

26 09 2008

The following Beyond the Job post [http://www.beyondthejob.org/] contains some helpful and FREE resources:

“Join us for these free webinars. Attend these sessions from your library, no travel needed!

The MaintainIT Project, (www.maintainitproject.org), interviews hundreds of librarians about how they maintain, support, and sustain their public computers. They publish all of these experiences, successes, and challenges in guides called Cookbooks, so librarians can learn from the experiences of others who’ve done it before them. The best part? Everything the MaintainIT Project does is FREE (thanks to a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant), and everything is on www.maintainitproject.org. They also produce free webinars every month!

Sept. 30th Cookbook Book Club:  How Much Help Should You Provide Patrons With Laptops?
When:  09/30/2008 9:00am – 10:00am Pacific
Where:  Register on MaintainIT’s webinar space. Download and read the Cookbook chapter (pdf) here.

This month Brenda Hough will lead a lively discussion where you can share ideas, feedback, and ask questions about providing help and support to patrons using laptops. Find out how other libraries have handled troubleshooting, security, parking lot surfers, space issues and more!”

Oct. 8th Train-the-Trainer:  The Power of Stories in Technology Training
When:  10/08/2008 11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific
Where:  Register on MaintainIT’s webinar space, and come prepared to share your training tips, too.

Library trainers from around the country are finding this popular webinar series a great opportunity to discuss training tips, techniques and resources. This month we will focus on how storytelling can enhance your participants’ learning and retention.

Oct. 16th 30 Minute Webinar:  Get Your Game On: Quick tips to start a gaming program.
When:  10/16/08, 11:00am – 11:30am Pacific
Where: Register on WebJunction’s webinar space

Join Lori Reed, Employee Learning Coordinator at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg, as she interviews Beth Gallaway, a library trainer/consultant specializing in gaming, technology, and youth services. This will be a fast-paced and interactive session introducing the idea of gaming programs in libraries.

Please share this invitation! [nmrt-l]