ALA 2009 Conference Opinion…07.14.09

14 07 2009

Give Me a Break Stossel

An open letter to ALA about the 2009 annual conference from the Library WebHead:

“Dear ALA,

I know that you’re decent folks and have a great social conscience. That’s wonderful. But – unless it relates to things like library’s budgets being cut, better marketing & spokespeople to help libraries publicize their value so they DON’T get cut, pushing for less restrictive copyright legislation, getting database and other vendors to make their licensing more standardized and their systems less proprietary & expensive, opposing the censorship of books/information resources, (library-specific concerns… and there are plenty of them out there) – I don’t want to hear about it at your annual conference.

If members want to be involved in getting troops out of Afghanistan or Iraq or whatever, they can feel free to do so. There’s an array of organizations designed to deal with those issues (have you heard of Moveon.org?).

For as long as ALA distracts itself with geopolitical concerns that are not related specifically to the library profession, it’s taking its eye off the ball. Since there are still such huge concerns out there to contend with as the role of libraries in the future (and even whether or not there is one, let alone what it will look like), I think ALA can’t afford to spend its time on these matters.”

I tend to agree…also what’s up with Christy Hefner as the opening speaker? As ABC news’ John Stossel says, “Give me a break!!”

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2009 ALA Conference Begins…07.09.09

9 07 2009

creating

ALA Annual Conference was reported today in the Chicago Tribune:

“Thousands of librarians are expected to gather in Chicago starting this week for the American Library Association’s annual conference. 

ALA officials say the conference comes at a time when library use nationwide has soared. But that jump in usage also comes as many public libraries face budget cuts. 

Data compiled by the association show 41 percent of U.S. states reported declining state funding for public libraries in the 2009 fiscal year.

Other issues to be discussed at the conference include technology, literacy and issues school libraries face.

The conference starts Thursday and ends next week.”

*********************************************************************

A great opportunity has arisen.

Perhaps there has never been so much positive publicity in America about libraries and librarians — ironically at a time when libraries and librarians face their biggest challenges from within and without the profession.

Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero – “seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow“! This cannot be just a cliché, an eloquent quote from a bygone era, or an intellectual assent.

Now is the time to exhort our professional colleagues to daily excellence, continual development, proactive planning, and unified advocacy.

Our success or failure will not be determined by new programs or plans, more, bigger or better conferences, education reform , fiscal bailouts or the latest technology.

Success is dependent upon inclusion, relationship and commitment.






“Knowledge Should be Given Away to the World as a Public Good”…07.08.09

8 07 2009

The following video discussion of Google’s book scan project on LISNews and notes that “…James J. Duderstadt [President Emeritus, University of Michigan]…argues that academics are starting to realize that knowledge ‘should be given away to the world as a public good’…”





ALA membership down? Can it be just the economy?…07.08.09

8 07 2009

ala

Why can’t non-members attend the ALA 2009 Virtual Conference FREE?

(Maybe the ALA leadership, “movers and shakers”, etc. haven’t read or agree with “The Radical Price” reality of “Free” as Chris Anderson’s new book explains).

Why is ALA still so exclusive in the age of “FREE”?

Mmmmmmmmmmm…

Tradition? Nepotism? Hubris? Ignorance?

“…Those not attending Conference in-person can register for the Virtual Conference online through the ALA Web site. The cost is $215 for ALA members, $210 for division members, $120 for student members, $145 for retired members, $298 for non-members and $215 for institutional members.

Libraries or schools can also receive the following special group rates: $300 for one to three employees; $500 for four to nine employees; and $1000 for 10-plus employees.

I wonder how much extra it would actually cost ALA to provide it FREE?

Surely, not much.





Librarians and Libraries Must “Strike While the Iron’s Hot”…07.07.09

7 07 2009

anvil

First Lone Wolf Rant:

Are we up to the task at this pivotal time?

A great opportunity has arisen of which we have all seen. Perhaps there has never been so much positive publicity in America about libraries and librarians — ironically at a time when libraries and librarians face their biggest challenges from within and without the profession.

Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero – “seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow“! This cannot be just a cliché, an eloquent quote from a bygone era, or an intellectual assent.

Now is the time to exhort our professional colleagues to daily excellence, continual development, proactive planning, and unified advocacy. Our success or failure will not be determined by new programs, plans, conferences, education or technology.

Success is dependent upon inclusion, relationship and commitment.





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

1 07 2009

web2to3

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. Tiseme.com and vark.com 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

sla

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!

Citation:
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 athttp://www.infotoday.com/searcher/jun09/index.shtml