Archive for March, 2005


Libraryman Shows C-SPAN Love

Unlike many library types, this blog will on occasion extol the virtues of television. Today sees praise for some especially wonderful bits of light and sound that recently came from Mr. Farnsworth?s magical box.

C-Span arguably doesn?t always have the most riveting programming, however the recent ?Library of Congress Series on Digital Future? episodes are hearty exceptions. Actually, Part 2 is the strongest exception. I fell asleep for a bit during Part 3, but that was in a hotel room after a long days work so I figure it?s excusable.

Unlike the Charlie Rose episode I so heartily plugged a few months back, you can stream this C-SPAN presentation for free by following this link. You can even stream the entire series if you like! I would warn you that if you are at work and find yourself prone to falling asleep while watching television, start with Episode 2 and be careful with the interesting though slightly monotone (at times) Episode 3.

Library of Congress Series on Digital Future – Part 2
12/13/2004: WASHINGTON, DC:
The second in the Library of Congress series “Digital Future” airs Monday evening. The featured speaker is Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian, Director & Co-founder of the Internet Archive. He first developed the idea and tools to archive the Web. He explains how he did that and why it’s important to our everyday use of the Internet. The title of his talk is “Universal Access to Knowledge.” A panel discussion follows.”

The entire Library of Congress Series on Digital Future can be found here.

If you saw this or if you watch it via this link I would really, really love to hear your comments!


Libraryman and Bunny

Libraryman and Bunny

Originally uploaded by libraryman.

It seemed fitting to post this seasonally topical pic of Libraryman. He was out and about this time last year and ran into somebody in a goofy costume. Who would wear a getup like this anyway? ;)
btw, you all know I’m not Libraryman, right? Seriously, it is a whole different person in a whole different part of the country. He’s not me, but he is the MAN!


Blake wrote this:

“Also how do I keep LISNews updated and relevant? How do we move it forward, Part of my dissapointment with my presentation came from the lack of questions after the LISNews presentation . I think if I had really engaged and informed the crowd they would?ve been asking more questions. The WebJunction presentation gave me about 300 new ideas on how we might proceed, and talking with Betha about how things run there was incredible. I think much of what we do @LISNews is complimentary to what they do, and I?d like to see us collaborate in the future.”
Full CIL post here.


Noteworthy Article Board

If you click on the picture in this post, it will take you to the flickr page containing all of the comments and notes placed on this image. Sure, I look like a dork, but when you hover over the image on the flickr page, see how the notes pop up for many of the articles so you can see just what they are. Cool! This has been technically possible for some time, but this is very fast and very, very easy to do here. Feel free to add your notes too.

About the picture: my friend Leslie Dillon has a similar system for printing and posting noteworthy blog or news items in her library. It’s such a great idea! My office is fairly small, so I’m not sure how much traffic it will generate besides my own, but even one or two meaningful articles can provoke a great deal of constructive thought and conversation.


CONTENTdm Webcasts

I?ve talked with lots of my librarian friends about this and almost all of them would like to know more about digital collection development, organization and sharing. If you are working in a library that has unique collections of items that you would like to share digitally, this post might interest you.

Today was the first in a series of webcasts about an OCLC product called CONTENTdm. I was going to start off by summarizing just what this product does, but the official CONTENTdm web site has a great blurb that sums it up very well:
?If your library is thinking about digital collections, you should think about CONTENTdm as the means to make those collections a virtual reality. An industry standard for digital collection management, CONTENTdm provides tools to organize, manage, publish and search digital collections on the Web.
Whatever materials you want to share, this flexible, multifunction software package handles it all?documents, PDFs, images, video and audio files. Whether your collection consists of 500 or a million assets, CONTENTdm offers a scalable solution that grows with your needs.?

You might guess that was written by somebody in marketing, but it actually really does describe what this tool does. It?s very nifty if you?re into this kind of thing!

So, on to the Webcast! It?s actually a series of webcasts. What?s cool here is that many of the presenters in the series are real-life librarians who really use the product. Sure, it?s marketing, but you are getting it straight from the horses? mouth. It seems like you?d have to seriously know and approve of a product to voluntarily agree to espouse its benefits in a forum like a sanctioned Webcast.

Jill Fluvog, from CONTENTdm, started the Webcast by providing an overview of the product. She showed several cool examples of institutions that are actively using CONTENTdm. Then, today?s voluntary espouser, Carol Hixson, from the University of Oregon Libraries presented. Carol is the Head of Metadata and Digital Library Services at U of O. She talked about ?why the Libraries decided to begin digitizing their materials and why they chose CONTENTdm. She also covered highlights of their digital collection implementation process, including how the materials in their digital collections were carefully selected and digitized according to prevailing standards and then described to facilitate their discovery and use?. Whew, that was a mouthful!

One thing that really jumped out in the discussions was the fact that CONTENTdm can be used for collaborations between departments and/or institutions. I’m big proponent of partnership, community development and resource sharing so it was nice to see this facet of the product. The Western Waters Digital Library Project is a specific example of this that the U of O (and many other institutions) contributes to.

You can get more information about CONTENTdm by following the links above. Also, there are more Webcasts coming up in the next few of weeks that address some issues related to the product and its implementation. These will also be presented by librarians like us. Here is a link to the page to sign up for those webcasts.


Library Photo Clearinghouse

Wouldn?t it be cool if there were a place where we could go to post and view pictures from our lives as librarians? A place where all could see funny and/or interesting pictures of libraries, librarians and librariana? We could put faces to names and get some inspiration as well. Maybe we could post photos of our lives outside of the library as well, just to show everybody the interesting and exciting lives of today’s modern librarian?

I?ve had this idea for this in my head for years, but it is now actually up and running!
Yep, Librarians via Libraryman is live.

So far we have 15 members and 34 photos. Hopefully this is just a drop in the bucket of visual library goodness that we will accumulate. To view Librarians via Libraryman requires no membership, you just follow the link and there you are. To post pictures to the group (what we really want to happen!) requires sending me an email so I can send you an invitation. If you have some great library pictures or want to show people what a librarian is really like, please let me know and you will get hooked up right away. You can contact me at mp {at sign}

Go check out the pictures we have up now and join in a part of the social software revolution with Librarians via Libraryman !


CA State Librarians Webcast

Libraryman?s notes from today?s: State Librarian’s Quarterly Webcast

Webcast: March 9, 2005
Time: Noon – 1:00 PST
Speaker: CA State Librarian, Susan Hildreth

I don?t recall meeting Susan previously, so this was my first time hearing her present. Naturally she comes to the job with the prerequisite impressive work experience and qualifications . As a new Californian reading her bio, I could help but chuckle at: ?Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Susan Hildreth State Librarian of California in July 2004?. I?m sure the thought of him as governor will lose it?s novelty soon enough, but at this point it still cracks me up a little bit. Besides, how many librarians we appointed to any position by an actor, let alone this guy! At any rate, going into the presentation I wasn?t sure what to expect. Happily it was an informative and pleasant experience.

With our spiffy computers and fast connection at work, the Real Player interface worked pretty flawlessly. Image and sound quality were fair, though they were acceptable and comfortable enough to not be annoying.

Susan started off mentioning that this was their inaugural Webcast. She mentioned that her position hasn?t been officially confirmed yet (ah, the joy of politics). She mentioned that the office wasn?t exactly as homey as she wanted when she moved in and she has been sprucing up the place. Susan talked about her career as a Librarian, starting on the east coast (NY and NJ) moving to Davis, CA in 1980 moving to Venetia (?) in the mid 80?s. At this job she initiated the issuance of library cards, an interesting experience involving letters to the editor protesting the new cards. **edit** From Susan, clarifying for me: “The city I worked in was Benicia, a small town in southern Solano County that has become a SF suburb, one of the first capitols of California and one of the first US military installations on the west coast.” Spoken like a true librarian! :) **edit**

Placard (?) Co., then Sacramento Library jobs followed. An MBA from Rutgers topped off her MLS. Susan was the Library Development Services Bureau of the State Library for a couple of years in the late 90?s. Leaving that job for the San Francisco Library where Mayor Brown would later install her as City Librarian. In SF a voter initiative was passed to renovate all libraries, an accomplishment she is especially proud of.

The job of the State Library:
The California State Library overseas six bureaus of the Library. Susan also must also personally support many initiatives, but publicly and behind the scenes.

The CA State Lib has several ?bureaus?
The Cal State Library Research Bureau- Provides non partisan research for governmental officials
Office of Lib Construction- Includes issues relating to prop 14 bond acts. With a new initiative up in 2006.
Library Development Services- Responsible for distributing funds LSTA, etc. Manages state library grants from here. InfoPeople (awesome!) LII (to know them is to love them), funding comes from here. For 05-06 competitive grants are available locally and state wide from this bureau.

Primary clientele of the State Library is the state legislature but they also serve the public. Special collections units include, gov docs, law library, and genealogy collection in SF. Also host CA Cultural and Historical Project, which dolls out funding for historical project. Leads Prop 14 and Cal endowment board.

Susan?s first priority is to advocate for State Library. With recent budget cuts, she has to work hard to streamline. Communication of news is a top priority. The CA State Library on-line newsletter is called Connections(s?) and Friday March 11 is the first on-line pub date for this document.

Other Duties and Priorities of the State Library and its Director:

Strategic planning to create a flexible, community focused organization is a top priority.

21st Cent Libraries ? Libraries have embraced the Internet. People understand why we need librarians. People understand the need for librarians. Provision of lib services changes with public consumption of information. We must be vigilant to change and be in constant contact with the communities we serve and are a part of. Community service is absolutely vital. This will be different in every community. Knowing what to do where is of utmost importance.

Anticipating upcoming services is very important!

Flexibility is of the utmost importance and change is inevitable. Librarians must welcome and embrace change, be it technological, political or workflow. We must work to become early adaptor of effective technologies. ?We cannot put our heads in the sand?.

Customer driven services are being seen more and more in libraries. ?Harnessing the power of the patron? is a quote Susan like to use. Self check out/in, on line reserves, sorting before delivering new materials, all help do this.

?Diversity in all aspects of library services is key?. Recruiting community is a goal for us, though it is always a challenge. Services and collections (in all types of formats and languages) need to be focused on needs of the community. Community outreach is important.

The Librarians New Role:
Recognizing and embracing the new role of librarians as teachers and guides is necessary. ?The role of librarian as gatekeeper is no longer in step with our society or culture?. ?Everybody thinks they are a librarian. ??I can do this myself??. We need to assist users navigate electronic resources, proving effective search strategies and increasing comfort with a wide range of electronic resources.

A Virtual Presence:
An exciting, user friendly, virtual presence is vital. See the SF Public Lib as a great example. No lingo, seamless and open, easy to navigate. Virtual use is as important as in person visits. Funding must be appropriate to encourage use by the generation that is now often most comfortable using our virtual presence.

Community. Again!
We must be the ?favorite living room in our community?. The role of the library as an information stronghold is no longer relevant for our society?. Our physical spaces must be neutral and comfortable venues for research, discussion and feedback. The Internet does not fill this role and libraries can be the venue of choice for these interactions. The popularity of book clubs demonstrates this very effectively. The library is the perfect place to house and promote these sort of groups and activities.

Partnerships are the key to being successful. Libraries can marshal resource and open communication, enhancing community and ensuring future success of the library. The

Resource Sharing:
What is happening with the LOC (not sure about my notes on this LOC business)? We promote multi type resource sharing amongst all types of libraries. Resource sharing is a goal we all share, but we have to take a step back to see how we will reach that goal. Too much attention has been focused on infrastructure and not on user end results. Now we unfortunately don?t have funds for this program. ILL is funded through CLSA, though was almost lost in the last governors administration. Resource sharing is a goal, but now is not the time to request funding for this. Susan has her ?ear to the ground? for budget increases, but now is not the time. Plans are in place to assess resource sharing though, particularly related to reference services. A consultant is being brought in to analyze and make recommendations for resource sharing.

$, Health, Salinas:
The financial health of libraries: 178 applied for the Public Library Fund 93% qualified.
Unfortunately, the Salinas PL didn?t qualify. It?s a tough situation. Susan visited Salinas on Feb., 23 with several folks (including Michael Gorman *ahem*). Local citizens said over and over again that we just couldn?t leave only one branch open. It was all or nothing. This is what the locals said and therefore limited opening had to be rejected. THE CLA is trying to support adult learning and homework centers. The mayor is working to provide library services despite the closure news. The mayor is really trying to come up with a 500k fundraiser to keep the libraries open. The city council has extended the pre closure period, hopefully until the end of the year. Save Salinas Libraries is another group working hard to save the libraries, and they seem very well organized. There seems to be a need for across the board funding for city services and there may be a special tax election to preserve a variety of services. A library only funding initiative could be called, but it would require a 2/3 approval, which isn?t seen as likely.

You can email questions to Susan at shildreth *at sign*

Questions were fielded related to:
Pre-sorting ? Reduces stress injuries and time costs.
Digitization ? Upcoming more in the future though some initiatives and grants are in place. Formatting and repository access are major challenges.
State-wide adoption of databases- We are doing what we can with this. The scope of CSL is very, very large with one county alone equaling the size of OH service groups. Vendor issues are often community specific. The state lib does and will try to do what they can to help.
New Gates Initiative ? 400k grant, not enough to address equipment updating. It will be used to provide training. Foundation may be considering another initiative with monies for new equipment, but this is speculative at this point.
Joint-use facilities ? Current administration (Schwarzenegger) isn?t as focused on this as the Davis administration.
Multi-type library sharing of electronic resources ? A great idea, done regionally often times.
Lottery money to libraries ? A fascinating idea I wish could happen. I don?t think it will happen. Public libraries loose to school systems everyday (Youch!). Part of why partnerships for resource sharing are vital.
Susan says:
“…did not mean to say that public libraries loose to school libraries. What I meant to convey was that public school libraries are in a desperate state and really need help. Cooperation with local public libraries is all the more important.”
This is an example of why you let the folks you are talking about on your blog get a heads up from you, especially in a case like this. My notes were fast and I’m sure I didn’t accuratley encapsulate everything Susan was saying or trying to say. This way, she got to tell me exactly what she meant. Considering her job, I’m impressed she would read the whole post and reply so quickly as I just emailed her with the link a little over an hour ago. Maybe that’s the sort of things you have to do for twenty or so years in order to become State Librarian? :) At any rate, thanks for the heads up, and keep up the good work, Susan.

Susan thanked everyone and we were all finished.

A hand then covered the lens providing a library budget version of fade to black. Hilarious!

Now that was some furious note taking. Whew! I?m gonna go rest my wrists! Feel free to leave comments. Please pardon typos and missed ideas, This is nice but there just ain?t nothin? like the real thing, baby. :)


The New Guy

What to say about the Service Meeting at OCLC HQ in Dublin, OH last week? Naturally, being a new employee, there is a learning curve. It will all be clear soon enough. Much of it is already. Like a good librarian, I am learning where to go to find the answers I need. HQ in Dublin was an excellent place to get some answers?and lots of questions.

It?s starting to dawn on me just what this organization strives to accomplish. We all likely know about the cataloguing and the ILL work accomplished here. This is absolutely amazing, vital foundation stuff and it is very ?digable?. While appreciating, admiring and participating happily in this work, it?s pretty clear that it is the ?other? stuff that really sparks my imagination. If you read my posts about emerging tech or hear me talk about the ?Environmental Scan? you know where this is coming from.

When I was younger I loved to play tennis. This didn?t always serve (pun intended) me in good stead while growing up in Indiana, where basketball and football are supreme sports kings. There weren?t lots of kids in my ?hood playing tennis, so I spent a great deal of time knocking balls against brick walls by myself. When I did get a chance to play with other kids, I usually beat the socks off of them. Eventually I found some grown ups to play with who were better than I was. Those difficult and exciting tennis matches were some of the happiest moments of my childhood. It was challenging and rewarding as I saw my skills improve. I also got to hang out with kind adults who were happily spending time with me.

The last three week with OCLC have left me with a feeling similar to what I got from those tennis matches of old. Some of the people I?ve met with and spoken to, you likely know and have heard of. And if you haven?t yet, you will. Some of the ideas floating around the halls of Dublin are challenging, outstandingly important, bold and full on exciting. I?m not completely on top of all of the ideas I heard, but I understand them and have thought about most of them in depth. I?ve also got some ideas that I think should be included in some of the discussions I heard and was included in.

I want to be a top notch trainer and provide the sort of support that helps libraries grow, thrive and evolve. I also really want to be the sort of ?next generation? librarian that ?gets it? and has an important role in ?making it happen? all the while improving the role of the library in the communities they serve, despite how large the changes and challenges we face might be. After working with the Gates Foundation Library Program I was concerned that I might not be able to do that on such a large scale again. After my week in OH, I think I may have been plunked down in the right place. I am more excited about learning and the future of libraries than I have been, well, ever!


OCLC HQ Pics Finale

The final two sets of photos from the OCLC Service Meeting are here!

OCLC HQ – 03/02/05
OCLC HQ – 03/03/05



A Picture Share!

Originally uploaded by libraryman.

Cynthia Wilson works for PALINET but is also working on a photo book project called “
I Am A Librarian
” that is pretty nifty. You don’t have to fill out the survey to try and get in the book, but you do have to buy it when it gets published. ;)

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