Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The Seattle Public Library system to close Aug. 31 through Sept. 7
The Seattle Public Library system will close Monday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Sept. 6 due to citywide budget cuts. Please note Monday, Sept. 7 is the Labor Day holiday and all libraries will be closed. Regular Library operations will resume Tuesday, Sept. 8
. press release here

While I don’t know all the deepest details here, I usually advocate for very thoughtful, strong, quick, dramatic action when forced into situations like this. And I believe that closing the web site is a great idea! That might not be a very popular stance to take, but it does makes good sense if handled properly.

There is no getting around that fact that the reality of these situations makes us feel a bit queasy, but this really is a rare and (hopefully) unique teaching opportunity. As budgets get trimmed all over the world, libraries are chipped at bit by bit. It has almost become a sad tradition of sorts for many library systems. And in these systems we work ourselves silly with fewer resources and less money while trying to not show how thinly stretched we are. We keep doing more with less until…one day we wake up to find that we don’t have things like effective methods of distributing the most popular electronic content available on the web through the library(see Netflix, Amazon and iTunes) or that we aren’t the platform considered most seriously as new display technologies become closer to ubiquitous (see iPhone and Kindle). And we can afford smaller budgets? Well, ok, but there is a cost…and we shouldn’t try to hide that cost from the communities we serve.

So when the SPL site is down I’d advise them to have their page go black expect for a one sentence (linked to the press release) “The SPL and all its branches are closed from **-** due to budget cuts.” Under that sentence I’d have a link that says something like: “When a library is open it returns $$$ value for every $ spent. Click here to read the facts.” and link to solid/scientific examples and proof of the value/ROI of the library being open.

I know its is easy for me to say this since I don’t work for SPL, but I think this is the right way to go. If you get cut, make sure people can see how it hurts them. WE don’t do ourselves any favors by glossing things over and if people clearly understood the costs they might just prevent things like this from happening to libraries in the first place.

But what do you think?

PS-Some library ROI links for ya’. And another doozy!


Get Well Soon Chris!

Before you read this, if it is the first you have heard the news it will come as quite a shock. It was very unexpected and while it isn’t good news by any stretch, things are starting to look a little better than they were last week. Here’s what is happening:

Last week, Chris Peters, a very dear friend of Libraryland, employee at techsoup and MaintainIT, author, former Washington State Library and Gates Foundation US Library Program employee and all around good person, very unexpectedly had a stroke at his home in San Francisco. He has been receiving intensive care and observation for almost a week now. Happily, things are starting to look better. In fact, I very unexpectedly just got off the phone with him shortly after getting a text message from him (which had me very nearly squealing with excitement I must confess). His text and call demonstrate that, all things considered, he is functioning very well. It was a such huge relief to hear his voice and have a conversation with him! His parents and his sister are at his side now and he is in good hands.

And it even looks like Chris will be up and around enough in the not too distant future to share more info himself and reply to well wishes. In the interim we wanted to let folks know what happened and that he is doing better. It would also be nice if you folks out there in Libraryland would send him good wishes.

At this point we don’t have an address to share that you can send cards (or cookies, assorted treats or amazon gift certificates) to. I’ll definitely share that here once we have it. Until then, it would be good to drop him a good wish on his facebook page, in comments here or via an email. If you can view it, his fb profile is here and his email is chrispeters72**at s i g n ** gmail dot com. You might even consider sending @cpetersc a message on Twitter. I’ll be sending well wishes via all those channels and I hope you’ll join me!

If you don’t know Chris, believe me, you really, really do want him to get well. He has worked tirelessly for many years to share, support and grow libraries. As Brenda Hough recently said on the techsoup blog: “Chris Peters, MaintainIT Cookbook author (is) one of my favorite people to turn to when I need to better understand something about library technology. If he doesn’t know the answer to a question I ask, he sees that as a challenge and soon he does know and explains it to me, too.”

Yep, that’s good ole’ Chris!

Here is a little more Chris Peters goodness for you…

Lot’s of folks have loved Chris’s writing work on “Recipes for a 5-Star Library” which you can download and use for yourself via this page. And just so you know, he’s got more cookbook authorship under his belt that you can find if you poke around a bit (like here).

And here is some of what he are written and published online at work for libraries and non-profits:
Choosing the Best Internet Connection
Tips for Buying Refurbished Computers
Understanding Cookies and Their Effect on Your Privacy
Selecting and Configuring a Firewall
How to Extend Your Wireless Network
Choosing a Disk-Cloning Solution for Your Nonprofit
Tips for Hiring IT Staff: Balancing Skills and Communication
Managing Your Organization’s Technology Assets
Leasing Computers and IT Equipment for Your Nonprofit
Anti-Spam Solutions for Nonprofits

Here is a link to his blog on the MaintainIT site.

Heck, he was even very recently was shown some love on the Google blog.

As you can see, Chris is thoughtful, informed, curious, engaged, and generous. It would be good to drop him a line of support during this difficult time.

Chris, we all wish you a speedy recovery and send you mad love, my brother!

PS- Here are some shots of Chris in action. The good stuff above is part of why Chris is our friend, but the pictures help tell more of the story. For one, Chris loves snacks. :) He shows great restraint or course, but my man loves a good snack:

Chris Loves A Good Donut

This was a fun night for geeking out:
Chris and I work on our presentation.

Chris presenting with me at last years Internet Librarian conference:
Chris Peters at IL2008

Chris charming an audience at WLA in 2008:
Chris @ WLA/OLA

Hangin’ with his homies:
Happy Seattle Party People

Chris Headshot

It is slightly freaky that six years ago there was a post here about another scary bug floating in the air, eh? My advice? Between chicken club sandwiches and checking cnn for panicky hybrid bird/swine flu updates, why not take a moment and just have some good ole’ geek fun and change your facebook interface to Pirate? Avast! It be simple, matey!

Here’s what it will (partly) look like after your customization
(Click the pics for access to larger versions):
Pirate facebook Interface

Here is another image with clear instructions on how to make this simple customization:
facebook Pirate Instructions

Your pandemic stress can walk the plan and be well forgotten. Besides, scurvy is worse than swine flu, right?

PS-Check out, my latest tech crush, for seemingly endless eternally glorious musical distractions.

Now playing: Don’t Touch Me (Rock mix)


Computers in Libraries 2009: Personality

For some time now I’ve wanted to go to a library conference and try and capture the spirit of a single, recurring and highly enjoyable event. So last night I got my camera batteries ready and went to the Speakers Reception at Computers in Libraries hoping to accomplish this mission. My objective was clear: show what folks in Libraryland are like when they let there hair down a bit and are with their friends. I wanted to try and get folks to reveal their personalities as much as possible and be with me and each other and make a record of that in the moment. It is an uplifting experience to celebrate with like mined colleagues, new and old, knowing that we respect each other and face so many similar challenges. At these sorts of events it has always seemed clear to me that people are very grateful to be together and are finally letting themselves relax together, in person. Hopefully this set of images will help tell that story. Libraryland is full of amazing folks and this may show pieces of that more clearly.* Many more pics will go up in the next few days but I had to get these up tonight, fresh off the plane. :)
cil2009 flickr Group
*thanks to everyone who took and endured all the snapshots. I’m very grateful to have pictures with so many of you! If you aren’t in this batch, perhaps next year?

PS- Please and tag, names and any other data that is missing to the photos!

CPLA Intro Slide 2009

Just wanted to tell folks that I am going to be leading a two-day “Management of Technology” PLA/CPLA workshop for the first time next week. While this is a recurring workshop, it is my first time leading it. And I am excited! But what is the class all about and why is it exciting? Well…
“The basic content of the workshops is of equal interest to librarians pursuing certification and librarians desiring to enhance their professional skills in more informal way. The workshops have been designed to be practical rather than theoretical and include interactive exercises and group work. Librarians pursuing CPLA certification will be required to take a post-test and will be asked to do outside readings or complete a project.”
*link to PLA/CPLA courses page*

The course description page says:
“At the end of the program, participants will have developed a basic understanding of the concepts of computer and communications technologies; will be able to link current services to the inventory of technologies; make decisions about sustaining, expanding or phasing out current technologies; identify and evaluate new technologies for implementation; identify the costs, needed skills, and time lines for new and expanded projects; and create an environment of on-going technological assessment and implementation.”

And believe it or not, we will do all of this in two days. And we’ll have a pretty good time doing it. Seriously!

I haven’t publicized this upcoming workshop too much since it is my first time teaching it and I’ve been doing a lot prep work. Yet the class is near capacity, and there are library managers from all over the country (even the Bahamas?!) registered. So, why not really let the cat out of the bag, eh?

And just so you know, if the content sounds useful to your library or region, you can co-sponsor and host the same (or other CPLA) workshops at your library. Details can be found following the above links. For now, it is looking like November in Washington state is your next chance to take this specific workshop (though there are plenty of different CPLA workshops). Unless of course you are up for a very last minute trip to Phoenix very early next Monday morning. ;)


Twitter vs. friendfeed

Twitter vs. frendfeed. The definition and debate could rage (or not be cared about perhaps, lol). But taking all that debate out and forcing a simple choice between the two, which is a better tool?
So the exact question was:
“friendfeed vs. twitter Even if it is apples to oranges, in an all or nothing cage match, who wins?”

The answers I got from Libraryland via twitter were:
twitter vs friendfeed -twitter

The answers I got from friendfeed were:
twitter vs friendfeed -friendfeed

My vote would go to friendfeed btw, though having a few choices for the way the information is visually displayed on the screen would be useful imo. On second thought, twitter,please buy friend feed and stick your designers on that interface. You could then take the folks on the ff team that prevent their version of the fail whale from appearing and put them to good use. ;) Sorry twitter, had to tease you a bit there. :)
twitter whale error image

Now playing: Testify – Rage Against The Machine
Passing Me By – The Pharcyde

With the developing program that Getty and flickr are building to allow users to sell invited pics on Getty, it seemed importnat to give a heads up to libraries. It likely goes without saying, but if you are a library and you get an invite like this, you’ll likely want to decline the invite for myriad reasons (payment, copyright and privacy issues primarily). This would seem to be ESPECIALLY true if there are patrons in the pics (though they require model releases for individuals in pictures).

I do wonder how common these invites are and if this will become more common in the years to come. You can check out the links for more info, but bear in mind that you participate you will give up copyright control and Getty can sell your (now their) pictures to any company that pays, even if the make a product you wouldn’t endorse. I know that for many that isn’t a factor at all, but for me personally it means I’ll very likely decline the invite. And if these were my library or company pics it would be an instant total no-brainer.

Invite to Sell Pics On Getty via flickr
Now playing: Simple Song – The Meters


Immediate Software Job Openings @ OCLC!

Straight from the OCLC HR dept today: “We have regional openings that need to be filled immediately and we need your help!”. So, even though I don’t often mix business with the pleasure of blogging, today it will happen. Here goes:

If you are a software engineer or Web/User Interface Designer, if you are talented, hard working and motivated, AND if you would like a good job, with good pay and benefits in a very livable city, well then you may be reading the perfect blog post.

The following jobs are open right now. Perhaps one of them is just the thing you have been looking for?:
Sr. Software Engineer – Job ID 1614 (Seattle, WA)
Consulting Software Engineer – Job ID 1613 (Seattle, WA)
Consulting Software Engineer NL – Job ID 1612 (Boulder, CO)
Associate Product Manager – Job ID 1590 (Boulder, CO)
Sr. Software Engineer NL – Job ID 1577 (Boulder, CO)
Sr. Web and User Interface Designer – Job ID 1524 (Open Location/Remote)
Sr. Software Engineer – Job ID 1511 (Seattle, WA)
Sr. Software Engineer – Job ID 1343 (San Mateo, CA)

You can find details about these, and other jobs at OCLC, here:

So if you have mad skills and are interested you might drop me (or another person with an OCLC connection) a line. OCLC is motivated to find the right people to fill these roles quickly!


Look Out Kansas!

I’m headed your way soon! If you want to hear about and join in a fast paced and spirited conversation about libraries, gadgets, mobile technology and general library information access and future services, you are hereby invited to attend. I guess you could come from anywhere in the world to see the sessions, but I’m betting you’ll mostly be from Kansas if you come. Maybe a little Missouri? ;) Regardless, hope to see you there! Please swing by and say hi if you are there!
NEKLS TechDay 2008

Registration and more info links are here.

Now playing: Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor


Meebo Chat Room For IL2007 Attendees

We just started it tonight and it’s a hummin!

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