Category Archives: ALA TechSource Blog

Don’t Miss ALA TechShots

Do you have a great shot of people using technology in your library? Add it to the pool! Photographs submitted to the pool will periodically be selected for inclusion on the American Library Association TechSource blog

Photos depicting the use of digital technology in libraries are preferred, but archival photos of other technologies in libraries are also welcome. Be creative!

Please tag your posts accordingly so that other flickr users can find your photos.


The pool will be swept periodically for photos that the Editors deem inappropriate to the pool.

The incredible Cindi Trainor is running this wonderful addition to TS.

On the Information Experience: An ALA TechSource Conversation with John Blyberg

Most of us agree that we’re charged with a deeper significance that goes beyond the distribution of popular materials and the provision of internet access. That’s because we exist within the context of the communities we serve. The difference now, as opposed to even five years ago, is that we also operate within a global context that empowers us to quickly recall data and assemble it into our own personal nebulae. In other words, information use has become an expression of self–that’s not something libraries ever accounted for. When I talk about this, I refer to it as the “information experience” because, for the growing number of us who participate in the hive, we build our own network of information and interaction that accompanies us through our lives. We literally construct highly-personalized information frameworks and place a huge amount of personal reliance upon them. Ten years ago, this wasn’t the case.

Read the whole post here:

Endless Possibilities: An ALA TechSource Conversation with Cliff Landis

First and foremost, Facebook pages can be used for marketing and outreach to library users. Facebook is the social hub of most campuses today, and students use their profiles to proclaim their identities to their peers. So by becoming a fan of the library’s page, students declare, “hey, I like the library, too.”

Beyond that, the possibilities are endless–it is only limited by what librarians are willing to do, and what users want and need. For example, the British Library page has 688 fans, and includes pictures, videos, events, and comments. At Odum Library where I work, our library’s page gained 19 friends just by word of mouth–no marketing. My hope is that by adding content and a little advertising in the future we will be able to reach more students–especially those who never set foot in the library and never go to the library’s webpage.

I have seen Facebook used for reference, collection development, instruction, technical support, circulation, and a myriad of other things. Again, the only limit is the imagination of the librarian and the desires of the user.

Read the whole interview here.

An Open Letter to the South Bend Tribune


Dear South Bend Tribune:


I received your letter today asking for more information as to why I canceled my subscription last week. Your letter included a brief questionnaire asking why I stopped the paper and how the customer service was when I called to cancel. Yes, I called to cancel, because I couldn’t find a way to do so online. You might want to make that an option.


I canceled not only because the papers were piling up week to week and sometimes went right into the recycling bin, but also because I realized I was reading only the ads — particularly that big box electronics retailer I enjoy thumbing through every Sunday. These days I get my news mainly through the Web: thus the check-marked box on the questionnaire “I get my news from the Internet.” I think you’re probably seeing more of this type of response.


More specifically, I use an RSS portal page and just recently added a local news and information tab to my collection of automatically updating Web pages.


Read the whole post here:

Internet Years & Dog Years: Remembering Jake

Jake in a PPT

I started Internet training at the St. Joseph County Public Library the same year Jake came to live with me as a 10 month pup. The family that owned him was growing as well, and there was no room for a big Lab puppy with 3 kids and one on the way. So Jake came to Mishawaka and soon found his way into my staff and public classes at SJCPL — nope, Jake never actually made it into the library (although one day he almost did when the Administrators were all off somewhere and we stopped by, but Jake stayed in the car). His presence was so pervasive that a librarian stopped me at a conference in Indianapolis and asked “Is your dog in your presentation this afternoon?”

Read the rest at ALA TechSource Blog…

A Shout Out and Best Wishes to Teresa Koltzenburg

Seeing this photo in Jenny’s stream brought back many good memories and reminded me today is Teresa’s last day at ALA TechSource. Back in May, 2005, Jenny and I accepted an invitation from Teresa to dinner while visiting Providence, RI to do a NEASIST event. We’d never met. But something clicked that night and Tersea asked us to write for the Blog. I honestly believe my path in libraryland changed that evening.

Since then, Teresa has edited my blog posts at TS and supported and encouraged me through the writing process for Web 2.0 and Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software. Last summer, amidst dissertation work and planning my job change, I turned in 29,000 words and she made them make sense! Her graphics magic made all of my TechSource posts shine!

So, best wishes to you, Teresa – I am glad we got to work together. Remember, we’ll always have Providence.

Schneider pens an Open Letter to the LOC

This rocks my world. I want all of my students to read this and ponder not only the future of books and description but the future of libraries.

It is both ironic and poignant that librarians are still worrying about “bibliographic control,” after ceding so much of the same to the companies that now rent them journal access per annum at usurious rates, digitize their book collections into DRM obscurity, or sell them ponderous, antiquated “management” systems that on close inspection do little more than serve as storehouses for the metadata specific to the formats of bygone eras, bold days when we saw our central roles as defenders and curators of our cultural heritage.


We do need a train–a clue-train. The paper-based book is already a metaphor; books are now born in digital format. The New York Times on my breakfast table is heaving its death rattle, if I listen closely enough. Looking ahead ten, twenty, fifty years, do any of us believe that the issues of access and description will not be driven overwhelmingly by issues related to digital content—some of it in fantastical, ever-mutating new forms (q.v. the networked book forms such as those proposed by The Institute for the Future of the Book)?

Thought Advocates and Banning Social Networking, An ALA TechSource Interview

Read my interview with Robert Doyle:

“If people were better informed about social networking sites and knew and used basic Internet safety tips, the cloud of fear may decline.”—Robert Doyle, Executive Director of the Illinois Library Association