Monthly Archives: February 2008

Web 2.0 For You

Class is working hard!Today was the 2nd (and last) day of the “Web 2.0 For You” workshop that Bobbi and I put on for the State Library and MORENet. It went really, really well. This was the first time we’d done this particular dog-and-pony show, so there were some timing issues (as in we ran out of time for all the material we wanted to cover the first day, but had plenty of time to do the material we missed the first day and all of our second day material on the second day) but overall it went well. The librarians who attended the class seemed really, really excited about the concepts we covered (see the class “handout” wiki we created at web20foryou.pbwiki.com for a link to the slides and links we used) and the information we gave ‘em.
What amazes me is how excited and fired up *I* get about the material just by introducing it to people who weren’t familiar with it already! I knew that at least some of the class would be excited by all the new tools and resources we were showing them, but the fact that I get re-energized by the teaching always surprises me. One of the most exciting parts was when one of the ladies in the class said that she had signed up for a Twitter account the evening of the first day. That’s when you know you are getting providing useful information – when they start using it even before you’ve finished the whole class! Class is starting
I’ve taken some of the quotes from the evaluation sheets and added them to a new page on this site, “Raves and Reviews“, so that others who might be interested in having me come speak to their groups (hint, hint) can see what folks who have attended workshops with me in the past think. I’ve got other evaluation forms secreted around here somewhere, I’ll find ‘em and post more “reviews” of my work later… Until then, I’m willing to say that this was a very successful endeavor! And I enjoyed it immensely!! That’s just icing on the cake…

Winter Institute Presentation

Workspace

Bobbi and I spent another lovely couple of hours at the coffee shop across the street from the library, working on our presentation of “Web 2.0 For Schools and Libraries” for the State of Missouri’s Winter Institute next week (26th & 27th if anyone is in the area of Columbia and wants to say hi!). We’ll be presenting for 2 half-days during the institute and covering all manner of interesting and useful ways libraries and schools can use Web 2.0 tools and applications. The picture in this post is from Bobbi’s side of the table while I was out having a smoke-and-think break. Doesn’t it look like we were working hard on our presentation? We’re gonna rock!!

Carnival of the Infosciences – #89

It was a slow start, but eventually, I started getting some submissions for this carnival. You all had me worried!! Well, without further ado – let’s get this carnival started!

First, I want to point out that there was a carnival submission that got lost in a spam folder during the last carnival’s run. It’s just an innocent victim of the spam wars, and Janie (from Library Garden) emailed me with the news that the submission ended up in her spam folder, but she thought it was very much worth a post in the carnival, so here it is! Genevive Williams directs our attention to the At Play In The Field Of Ideas blog and the post, “Wither Reference? Part 2: From Just-in-Case to Just-in-Time”. Genevive describes it as the “Second in an occasional and ongoing series about the changing nature of reference work in response to the changing nature of the library”. This post deserves a little carnival love!!

Sol Lederman started things off for this edition of the carnival by pointing to a post about determining quality of results for federated search engines at “What determines quality of search results?” on his blog. It’s a slightly different look at federated search results and in it he discusses quality markers as opposed to which federated search products produce the “best” results.

kmdunneback made excellent use of the del.icio.us tag to submit 3 different posts that all have to do with the recent moves made by publishers (specifically HarperCollins) to give books away for free and how that will affect book pirating sites. The first post is a story from the New York Times titled “HarperCollins Will Post Free Books on the Web – New York Times” and gives the background on the recent decision by HarperCollins to make some of their books available for free on the web. Next tagged is “Romance Novel Reviews – Smart Bitches: Piracy – Still Not the Good Kind” as being tied into the discussion – check the comments for discussion about book piracy in general. Finally, the last site tagged in this “theme” is “How to Get an eBook of Old Man’s War — Free!” from the Whatever blog of John Scalzi (who is also present in the comments of the Smart Bitches post… it really does all tie in!!).

Next up in the carnival is a link from eclecticlibrarian to Pegasus Librarian and her “Musings on Periodicals”. According the to eclecticlibrarian, Iris provides some insight into collection development issues as libraries move towards online-only subscriptions. She includes a lot of the criteria that she uses to decide what subscriptions to get in print and which to get in electronic format.

Eclecticlibrarian also pointed, via del.icio.us, to an post from the Off The Mark blog about the “30 mostly spurious benefits of ebooks“. From eclecticlibrarian’s description: “Mark v. Epublishers Weekly blog smackdown! w00t!”. With that kind of ecstatic description, who wouldn’t want to go read this post?

I’ve added the link to Iris’ post (all I can say in my defense is that my house was overtaken by 3 teenaged boys – only one of which is mine – and that I wasn’t allowed near any of my computers all night last night or most of today, so there wasn’t much editing time for me…) and noted that there is no host for #90 on the carnival wiki!! It’s probably not too late to volunteer, so sign up to host the next carnival on March 3rd!

Flowers For Valentine’s Day

flowers!

and a close up of those gorgeous red roses (tiger roses?)

close up

Carnival Update

The previous carnival – #88 – is posted at Library Garden if you care to see what the format and the content of a top-notch Carnival of the Infosciences looks like! They have a team of bloggers that helped out with the submissions, though. I, alas, am a single person who desperately needs others to find and submit (Email, Web Form or del.icio.us tag – carninfo) articles about information science and/or libraries. Let’s try to make #89 just as good as #88 was, shall we?

Digital Curators

I was reading a post on the Micro Persuasion blog that discusses the need for Digital Curators and I got thinking (always a dangerous proposition…). The way he describes the “digital curator”:

Museum curators, like web users, are faced with choices. They can’t put every work of art in a museum. They acquire pieces that fit within the tone, direction and – above all – the purpose of the institution. They travel the corners of the world looking for “finds.” Then, once located, clean them up and make sure they are presentable and offer the patron a high quality experience.

Much the same, the digital realm too needs curators. Information overload makes it difficult to separate junk from art. It requires a certain finesse and expertise – a fine tuned, perhaps trained eye. Google, memetrackers such as Techmeme and social news sites like digg are not curators. They’re aggregators – and there’s a big difference.

seems to describe what a really good blog could do. It could take the wealth of digital writings, links, podcasts, videos and twittered conversations about a particular topic and distill the huge amount of information into something pretty and easy to follow. One of the folks who commented on that post mentioned that hurrying up and getting the semantic web into more common use would be really helpful (serious paraphrasing there…), if only to assist a digital curator in getting the best and most relevant information in the easiest way possible. Libraries, and librarians, would be a natural fit for some digital curating. We already do some of it, but with the addition of social networking tools – such as blogs – to our arsenals, we could certainly do more!
The post also points to some sites that are offering digital curating of information – those are good starting points for us to use to decide if our expertise and passion can be put to use creating museum-quality collections of information for others to use.

MaintainIT’s Cookbooks

Yes, I do cook (occasionally), but this isn’t that sort of cookbook. This cookbook is chock full of recipes to help libraries learn how other libraries manage their IT offerings. From the announcement of the last cookbook:

TechSoup’s MaintainIT Project is pleased to announce the latest Cookbook, packed with tips, techniques, and stories about supporting public computers from libraries across the country.
Download the FREE Joy of Computing: Recipes for a 5-Star Library here: http://maintainitproject.org/cookbooks
Find out what your colleagues had to say about wireless, time and print management, and laptop checkout programs.
We’d love to hear from more Missouri libraries!
The MaintainIT Project continues to craft guides focused on supporting public computers. Please get in touch and share your challenges and successes so libraries can learn from *your* experiences. Remember, what may be, “that’s nothing!” to you, may be an “aha” to someone else!
Email us: maintainit@techsoup.org

I’ve downloaded and read both of the cookbooks they have put out and some of my words of wisdom (ehem – stop laughing…) will be featured in the next cookbook that they are doing. I was interviewed a couple of weeks ago about the challenges of managing a library IT department and how we overcome some of the issues involved with providing Internet access to so many different people. It was a great conversation, and I can’t wait to see what others in my position had to say about their libraries! Until then, however, I’ll keep referring to the previous cookbooks and I’ll keep using those great recipes they provide to improve the service that my library provides to our patrons!

The Carnival of the Infosciences is coming!

What is it?
According to the description on its wiki, the Carnival of the Infosciences is basically a traveling exhibition that showcases the best, most thought-provoking and most interesting posts from the biblioblogosphere and about Information Science in general.

How does it work?
Blog readers find an article or post that they think should be mentioned in the next Carnival of the Infosciences. They submit that article or post (see below) to me and I compile them into a smorgasboard of information science and biblioblogospheric goodness.

How do I submit a post?
There are 3 easy ways to let me know about articles that you think should be pointed out in this edition of the Carnival of the Infosciences. Email, a web form or a del.icio.us tag (carninfo). If you are emailing me your submission, please be sure to give me the title, URL and a description or summary of the post and your name (or at least a nom de plume that you would like to be known by). If you are using the del.icio.us tag to send in your submission, make sure you include that description/summary and your name in the bookmark.
When will it be here?
February 18th, 2008. That’s when I’ll post all of the submissions (that aren’t spam, of course) so that we can all be exposed (or re-exposed) to the great ideas that have come out of librarian/infoscience blogging over the past 2 weeks!