Archive for the 'Library' Category

Gadget presentation intro slide from tomorrow’s event sponsored by the Pierce County Public Library. This presentation’s angle is on the 55+ set. And this is just one of the many presentations that will be held as a part of this event. It’ll be fun and you can come if you’ll be around!

You can come watch this tomorrow in Tacoma if you like



When A Stranger Asks

On occasion, strangers looking up info on the Gates Foundation (usually via Google which points them to a few pages) contact me to ask what it was like working as a part of the US Library Program. This happened again tonight and I thought I’d share my response here:

Hi *****,

I worked as part of the US Library program at the Gates Foundation for several years, doing training in public libraries all around the country. The libraries we served had 10% or higher poverty rates (this includes almost every public library, sadly). It was an amazing job and experience that I am grateful to have taken part in. However, that program wrapped in 2003 and roughly 95% of the US Library Program folks were laid off. We knew it ws coming so it wasn’t a bad or unexpected thing for us.

I found BMGF to be a model employer and an organization that had an astounding number or driven, intelligent and caring people working there.

However, I do know that It is very difficult to gain employment there and they are flooded with very high quality applicants even when there are no jobs for them. I would encourage you to pursue your interests, but temper you interest in working for this specific foundation with the understanding that it is amazingly difficult to get a job there.

Happily there are lots of other orgs out there doing very good work that are also exciting, positive and contribute to the good of society in important ways. I wish you well in your search!


If folks as about conslusions drawn for my time at the Gates Foundation, I point them to this article. It’s a few years old, but the points are still right on. I guess I have to say that though since it’s an article I wrote, eh? Here’s a link.

ACPL Construction
Originally uploaded by libraryman.

Last Friday, my good friend and fellow Librarian, Steve Miller took me on a very cool tour. Not only was it cool, but it was lengthy. Not only was it a tour, but it was really a photo expedition. What did we visit? The construction site of the new Main branch of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, of course!

I know many of you know already, but the ACPL is an exceptional library system, consistently recognized as one of the best of its size in the country. This made it all the more exciting to get a chance to get a behind the scenes peek at what they have in store for their next chapter of public service.

Two bits of background info might help you put this new building in perspective. First, the ACPL had over 3 million items in the main library before this new project began. That?s a big collection, no? Second, many folks know the ACPL for their genealogy department as it is the second largest in the country and draws people from around the world daily as they research their family histories.

It?s always good to go back and see old friends and family, but this trip really was especially nice. Lots of new things have happened with many people I care about, including many of the good folks at the ACPL. From new babies to new houses to new loves to new libraries, it really was an unusually interesting trip.

If you?re interested, I have a set of 96 other ACPL construction site photos that you can take a look at
by following this link .

Here is an interesting little story that a non-librarian friend of mine just posted. Among other things, he observes:

“I?m telling you, this woman?s odor standing at the coutner was so horrific my eyes watered. They literally watered and my nose is still running. If it wasn?t for the amazing job by the librarian to help her and get her on her way, I would have marked this public place right up there with riding the bus”

“I like to find the books on my own, not via a computer that half the time doesn?t send me to the correct location.”

He talks about RFID too, happily without him needing to know a lick about RFID. These are exactly the sort of honest observations and comments we want people to write in on our service evalatuion surveys, right?


World Digital Library?

Three important things today:

#1. A press release from The Library of Congress (US) and Google: ?LIBRARY OF CONGRESS LAUNCHES EFFORT TO CREATE WORLD DIGITAL LIBRARY? .
#2 Always trying to avoid reinvention of the wheel, rather than add my own commentary, please read this interesting and thoughtful article about the press release and this entire situation by Danny Sullivan and Gary Price from Search Engine Watch.
#3 Do you believe there will be a global digital library in our future? Believe it. And think about it. Often. Think about what it means for your library, your community and your job. What do we need to do individually and at large to grow our library?s relevance in the face of changes like this? Ponder not just what do we need to do to stay ?alive?, but rather what we need to do in order to thrive, grow and add even more value to the communities we serve.

We can do it, but only if we are attentive, nimble, thoughtful, active and unafraid.


GeoMapped Libs

GeoMapped Libs

Originally uploaded by libraryman.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see a global map dotted with markers indicating where you could click to see pictures of the library in that exact geographic location? How in the heck would you make something like that work anyway?

Well prepare to “Ohhh”? and “Ahhh”?! The Libraries and Librarians Flickr Group is at it again with another super spiffy application of technology. Can you say Web 2.0? :) . Actually, Lluisa , Russell and GeoBloggers folks (its author Dan Catt to be exact) have put their heads together and come up with a site to view GeoTagged pictures from the group photo pool. Amazing!

As more images are properly GeoTagged the page will become even more impressive. Join in the fun and contribute to the community! At last count we had 1495 images and 317 members on six continets in the group! Add your library photos to the Libraries and Librarians Flickr group and then add some GeoTags. The directions for doing this are included in the discussion HERE.

Keep Up!

Originally uploaded by libraryman.

This is the banner ad for the full day, emerging library technology workshop that I’ll be teaching in the western US several times over the next few months. Woo Hoo!

With a library-centric focus, we will demonstrate and discuss a surprisingly wide variety of thought provoking and potentially sea changing current and future library technology issues. Substantial resources and instructions are provided along with the classroom demonstrations and discussion. All of this is focused on the goal of getting you back to your library ready to implement those things that you learned in class that will best serve your library and your community. With clear explanations and resources to use back in the library you will likely grow to understand much more that you expected to.

I’ve never been this excited about a class before, even the digital imaging or community outreach classes! If attendance is good (and we really hope that happens) we will be able to offer more classes in more places around the Western US. For now however, if you are in the greater Los Angeles, Ontario (California), San Diego, Portland or Seattle areas you can sign up now for classes in November and December. Details, dates and times can be found via this link to the workshop web page.

I’d love to hear what you all think. If you have any content you think I absolutely should not miss please do let me know. I have quite a collection or resources ready, but there is so much good material out there right now about exciting, practical lib tech that I’m sure I don’t have every good thing I could use. Thanks much for your help all my wonderful blog friends and tell all your library buddies to come to this class! Hope to see you there!

PS-See why I haven’t posted to the blog more lately? In addition to several other big projects, this class has been getting energy I would have previously put into updating the blog more often. The blog will march forward though! :)


Stop Thief!

A fellow Librarian and most excellent buddy just sent around
this story
about a senior citizen patron of her library that was cold busted for allegedly swiping library materials and selling them on eBay. Why, grandma? Why?! Be sure to note that she had planned to pay the liubrary back at some point in the future. See, she’s not so bad!


I Told You So

This interesting video combines fact and not-too-far reaching speculation to offer a vision of the future of media and access (read:libraries). I just wrote an article about this last week, didn’t I? The movie is a few minutes long, but fascinating. My only complaint is that the final few bits seemed a tad pessimistic. We’ll find out soon enough I suppose. Perhaps I overrate the general global public.

Maybe a couple of posts about media merging and access, nanotechnology and copyright should follow. All this makes me wish I was in library school again and had an undergrad in computer science!
Found the video via the freakishly wonderful Jenny. Seriously, give it a peek.
Wish a really good comment session would start up around this. Well, maybe ’round Jenny’s way it’ll happen. :)


My oh my

A short while back my new friend TiVo caught my old friend Charlie Rose being especially useful. (Episode #10833 originally aired on 11/17/2004). The guests were the respective heads of Yahoo!, Intel, Google and Cisco. Push the geek jokes aside and I?ll dare you to watch this episode and not be inspired to think a bit, especially if you are a librarian. It wasn?t rocket science but the conversations gelled amazingly. One of the episodes themes was ?Convergence? and as a librarian I just can?t get that word out of my head.

Good old Charlie Rose was the crest of a refreshing wave of tech awareness and convergence that has inspired me to write this article and even a little tongue in cheek library haiku. I even tried to stay true to haiku form just for all you literati out there. Here goes:

True seasons do pass
Our libraries will evolve
Hold on tight and grow

In between writing haikus and watching my pal Charlie on PBS a few things have been hitting me over the head lately. Google, PSP, TiVo, Musicmatch and assorted other concepts have me all worked up about technology, libraries and the future.

Google Is Freaking Me Out and I love it!
First the general public got Google then Google Scholar and now Google Print starts kicking up dust. Likely literally! This is a very, very interesting read about Google Print (originally referred to as Google Library). Read it then predict the future (insert creepy “Mwaaa ha haaa!!!” or carnival music depending mostly on your perspective). Reminiscent of Amazon?s ?Inside the Book? search feature, but different enough to startle a bit.

Back in 1998 a library school professor back in Indiana told our ?Electronic Resources? class that he wished he could buy Google stock then. It appears the good Doc’s wish/forecast may more deeply fit a librarian?s definition of ironic as years go by.

This is the first section of an “article” I’m working on. The other parts will likely follow shortly.
Next Installment: TiVo+Musicmatch=Fuggetaboutit and/or loose some sleep!

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