Archive for the ‘libraries’ Category

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How to Successfully Host a Conference

In idea,ischool,libraries on March 29, 2007 by ultimatelibrarian

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a half-day conference at your library/library school/other information setting? Think of the professional development, the showcasing of your staff’s/students’ skills, and just a different kind of program to brighten up your community’s day, week, whatever.

iEdge 2007 is a good example.
The 3 themes of the conference are information is people, information is social, and information is practical.

Keynote speaker: Stu Weible

Global Libraries Initiative (Darren Hoerner, Gates Foundation; Kara Fox, iSchool)
(Information is Practical)

  • The Internet is a crucial tool for the dissemination of information.
  • Why public libraries? Ideally situated, librarians are great moderators.
  • Strategy: Research, resources, and sustainability
  • What & Why: Need and Readiness are the criteria partnerships with other countries are based on.
  • Grant-making research process: global scan of countries, goal to target transitioning economies; next steps looking at individual countries and contract with outside research firm (using research template) and stakeholders in-country.
  • Challenges include finding effective means of research (in-country more effective), bias/neutrality (triangulate with other sources in and outside country), much of the information is difficulat to find or old.
  • Grantee research built into grant
  • Chile example: 100% of public libraries now have computers, help promote small business and agriculture.
  • UW Graduate Research Assistant role: contributes to research and evaluation at all phases, brings in an outside perspective.

Global Libraries Initiative (Darren Hoerner, Gates Foundation; Kara Fox, iSchool)
(Information is Practical)

I also attended a panel discussion called “Patients, Clinicians, Insurers or Administrators: Who’s Your User? Can User-Centered Design Work in Health Care?”, and I checked out the poster session.

It’s MHO that this kind of thing would work in any setting. Academic libraries could invite posters from their student bodies as well as staff who wouldn’t normally get a chance to showcase their work. Public libraries could invite a local celebrity to be the keynote speaker. Special libraries could open the event to everyone within their organization, generating publicity. And there’s overlap here; I don’t want to limit any of these ideas to any one “type”.

Anyway, probably not the newest thought ever, but something I’d like to tuck away for the future.

Thanks, and good job, iEdge! 🙂

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Plans for Social Networking!

In idea,libraries,social media,web2.0 on January 20, 2007 by ultimatelibrarian

Any Grinnellians read my plan blog?  Both?  Either?  Would you read Burling Libary‘s plan, if it had one?  Wait, what the h*** are GrinnellPlans anyway?  Well, the FAQ is here.

I’m asking this while sitting in the OCLC Social Networking: Best Practices for Libraries session at the ALA Midwinter conference.  (Notice how I linked to the wiki and not the offical site; how very social of me).

So, GrinnellPlans is kind of a unique social networking tool.  It was created by students for students (basically), but some faculty members have a presence.  Student groups are on there.  Your account never expires, so I as an alumna can read the plans of students graduating in ’10 (being 24 feels so old).  Say the library has a plan.  It’s even easier than blogging, it would be a great place to announce events (there is an “autoread” list; if a student puts the library on his or her list, the library will appear any time anything is updated), and put basic library information.  The way I see it, is that the library would not actively read other people’s (students, faculty, etc.), but would only check “planlove” (when someone links to your plan from his/her plan).  This could be a great feedback mechanism.

So, should the library go where the students are?  Would this be an invasion of some sort?  There would need to be a policy.  But the fact that faculty are now allowed to have a plan has opened the door already, in my opinion.  Some of the key principles mentioned by one of the OCLC panelists would be fairly easy to meet:

1) Have a plan (for the plan!  see above about announcements, feedback channel, etc.)

2) Train (the GrinnellPlans interface is ridiculously easy to use; Burling would just need to chose the position within the library that would be in charge; the webmaster might be an option)

3) Invite participants (it wouldn’t be hard to announce a library Plans presence to the library; signs, an announcement in the student newspaper, word of mouth using student library employees)

4) Top-down and bottom-up (both front-line staff and administration need to buy in and participate)

Okay, that’s it for now.  Stay tuned for any more ideas that come up during the next couple of days as the result of ALA.  And please comment!

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little libraries

In idea,libraries,libraryblogs on July 13, 2006 by ultimatelibrarian

Forgive the few and far between posts. *I’ve been busy*. Or something.

Recent news: I am now an intern at a biotech company’s library. I’ve become a member of the SLA. I’m halfway to having my MLIS. I’m reading The Selfish Gene. And I’ve moved into a house with a few friends.

But there is actually a purpose to my writing this. If you, my few and faithful (?) readers, don’t already know about http://www.librarything.com, you really should. It’s an on-line service, much like flickr or del.icio.us, where you enter the books you own (or keep track of the books you’ve read) and tag them and see what other people are reading and so on and so forth. I’m sure you can imagine lots of different ways you can use it.

So, without further ado, here’s the idea for the day (week, month…):

Use LibraryThing as your OPAC (on-line public access catalog) for your small corporate/non-profit/church/whatever library! I have to admit, I didn’t come up with this idea, another girl in my program did, but I’m at the forefront of implementing it for the Richard Hugo House (a resource for Seattle-area writers). Check out our “catalog” at http://www.librarything.com/catalog/hugohouse. We’re tagging our books with their classification numbers, in the hopes that users will be able to sort them not only by author and title (the standard options LibraryThing provides), but by call number for some sort of subject sorting. We’re not the first group to do this; in fact, LibraryThing has a “professional” version on the back burner, but it’s still pretty exciting and I’m definitely storing this idea for future use.

*As an added bonus, here are some other little tools I’ve been using in the small corporate library I work in:

LibraryThing used as a collection development tool or, rather, a weeding aid. I looked up some management-type books we pulled to see how many people had them and to see if any were worth keeping. I ended up making some recommendations to my boss as a result. Definitely not the only tool to use, but it was helpful. (We’re a biotech company, so our librarians, or “information consultants”, as they’re called, don’t have the subject expertise necessarily to know what the good management books are.)

This one isn’t an idea so much as a note of a fabulous resource that I’ve used a couple times to get some outside help. To meet up with lots of other librarians, to get advice, to see what the latest issues are, go check out The Library Lovers’ LiveJournal.

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EPA libraries budget cut

In libraries on February 15, 2006 by ultimatelibrarian

This is not good. Loss of the EPA libraries will have dire consequences for the statewide branches who depend upon them and the eletronic catalog for their research. The general public also has access to the catalog as it stands, and other environmental agencies use the resources for their own research. Not to mention the job cuts…

This is not just not good. This is bad.

For more information, check out the technorati results for EPA libraries.

Also, from the Progressive Librarian’s mailing list:

We are aware at the Washington Office and are trying to figure out what
to do. This is $2M out of a $300M cut to EPA, so it is completely
uncertain that the envir’l community will focus much, if any, attention
on it. The Associations will write a letter, at a minimum.

As always, writing to relevant appropriations committee/subcommittee
Members is the most effective (particularly, if they are your Members).
Grassroots constituency contact is essential.

Patrice
pmcdermott@alawash.org

SENATE
SUBCOMMITTEE on Interior and Related Agencies
Senator Conrad Burns (Chairman) (MT)
Senator Ted Stevens (AK)
Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
Senator Pete Domenici (NM)
Senator Robert Bennett (UT)
Senator Judd Gregg (NH)
Senator Larry Craig (ID)
Senator Wayne Allard (CO)
Senator Byron Dorgan (Ranking Member) (ND)
Senator Robert C. Byrd (WV)
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
Senator Harry Reid (NV)
Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Senator Herb Kohl (WI)

HOUSE
SUBCOMMITTEE on Interior and Related Agencies
Charles H. Taylor, NC (R – Chairman)
Zach Wamp, TN (R)
John E. Peterson, PA (R)
Don Sherwood, PA (R)
Ernest J. Istook, Jr., OK (R)
Robert Aderholt, AL (R)
ohn Doolittle, CA (R)
Michael K. Simpson, ID (R – Vice Chair)
Norman D. Dicks, WA (D – Ranking Member)
James P. Moran, VA (D)
Maurice D. Hinchey, NY (D)
John W. Olver, MA (D)
Alan B. Mollohan, WV (D)

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