Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

Rosenbaum on New Technologies

Using a PowerBook (YES!), Dr. Rosenbaum took us through a review of a similar talk he gave 6 years ago and then looked to the future.

“Trendspotting: Libraries & Technology (or what do I have to learn now?)

Librarians getting together — “Community of Practice” – Shared work practices

Six years ago:

The web is becoming a community
Digital Neighborhoods and virtual communities
Chat Rooms
Portals

Current Technical Trends:

*Wireless Libraries – Bluetooth/ 802.11g

*PDAs, Tablets, Cell Phones – Cheaper, more common, wireless and net access. Libraries need to think about a new range of services that serve these devices. Developing web interfaces for devices

*RFID – Making its way into libraries via retail

*Security – Hardware firewalls, Libraries need people who really know what they are doing when setting up security. This will be increasingly important.

*DRM – Controlling content

*Web Services – Standard means of operating amongst different platforms, W3C

*Semantic Web – Interoperable, sharing of information. Agents do things for us: auctions, tickets, etc

*Blogs – used in education, media and business

*RSS – Content delivery

Current Social Trends:

*Security – Preventing and detecting unauthorized use of a computer

*Spam – could clog the e-mail system in the future

What do I have to learn now? A lot – quickly – we have a sociotechnical environment that is changing quickly! What does the future hold?

Developing digital reference services
Developing and managing digital libraries
Creation of complex database driven web sites
Understand and negotiate DRM
Creating & updating a library blog with an RSS Feed
Being able to lock down your library’s network
Delivering a range of library services through a wireless network (and to a wrist phone)

Support LISNews!

When I discovered LISNews, I wanted to teach everyone at SJCPL how cool it was to get all that news and info in one place. I’ve been evangelizing it for over a year… Now, we need to give back a bit! Blake needs some assistance with server costs. Read about it here and donate what you can!

Back in the day, I was the list owner for Enchanted: the Stevie Nicks Mailing list and I had to ask for donations a few times to pay for server space etc. The support was overwhelming! So I totally understand how important it is to kick in a couple of bucks to keep a good thing going!

10 Things A Library Can Do to Boost their Techie Stuff*

(*without breaking the bank)

(Thoughts this am, connected to Panera’s WiFi network, an iced tea, and the whole weekend stretched out before me..)

Blog! The tools are free. Blog internally and externally. Promote your stuff to your users. Promote the library to the staff. Bring out your staff’s hidden creativity. It’s time well spent.

Send out your Web content via RSS. Not everyone may know what’s up with RSS but they soon will. That little on your site says a lot!

Use IM to answer patron’s questions. The software is free! Publicize your library’s screen name and see what happens. A small investment of staff time brings your resources right to people you want to reach.

Investigate WiFi. Implementing a wifi network in most small or medium-sized libraries would not be hugely expensive. Routers etc. are reasonable… We’re talking ACCESS…that’s what libraries are all about!

Meet and greet with other tech folks and librarians in your city, county, region. Lunch with folks from the local college library and the public library offers loads of knowledge exchange for the price of the meal!

Educate the staff about all the cool new things this post is about. Do they know about blogs, RSS, and WiFi? A tech-savvy staff shows our library users how well a library system is allocating resources. “Do you have WiFi?” a patron asks. “What’s that?” should not be the reply!

Conferences are expensive but try to send some folks. Look for ways to send staff that saves money. Some provide free registration for speakers! Some library service agencies offer discounts to big conferences. Grants and scholarships are available as well.

Let your new librarians stretch their wings. New ideas and fresh perspectives about technology come from NextGen’ers…give them some tech projects and watch them thrive!

Visit Web sites like Webjunction to take advantage of all the FREE stuff they offer. Training modules, advice, best practices… oh yeah!

Read your favorite tech magazines but also the mainstream entertainment/computer/lifestyle stuff. That’s where the next big things will be discussed – What the 16 year olds are doing now is what we’ll be talking about in 5 years! (Video chat anyone? AIM SN mstephens7mac)

Liz lawley on Teaching New Technologies

Nice post at Liz’s mamamusings::

http://mamamusings.net/archives/2004/05/03/teaching_new_technologies.php

I enjoy Liz’s stuff a lot. This one I particularly liked.

As a fella who someday would like to teach, this bit was interesting:

The future, I think, is to let go of the traditional approach of teaching how to do things in a specific language, and instead offer a more studio-like environment in which students are given access to resources and tools, and then work on developing a project. (We teach most of our classes in ?studio mode,? but in most cases they?re far from real studio approaches?they?re lectures with occasional hands-on exercises.) Surprisingly, it?s the students who are often most resistant to this mode of teaching?we?ve successfully conditioned them to see school as a series of core dumps, and switching gears into a more user-directed model often generates resentment and confusion rather than enthusiasm and creativity.

Weblogs in Higher Education and the IUSB Librarians

Librarians are great!

One of the real pleasures of talking about blogging is seeing what people start to invent for themselves with the tools, rather than assuming that the tools are good for some handful of particular things. – Ken Smith

http://www.mchron.net/site/edublog.php?id=P2679

I had lunch yesterday with IUSB Director Michelle Russo. We always have so much to discuss in the realm of librarianship and technology. She told me about a professor at IUSB who blogs and who presented a session for her staff on blogging. Ken Smith teaches in the English Department at IUSB and writes about blogs and higher education.

He has some great things to say about RSS, libraries, etc.

Take a look at his posts about the IUSB Librarians and his Libraries category.

NYT Library Article

Via LISNews:

And Internet-connected computers are clearly bringing more people into libraries.

Don’t miss today’s NYT article “Libraries Wired, and Reborn” By Steve Lohr. Lohr explores how libraries, the gates Foundation, and access have helped turn around public libraries. It renewed interest. It gave people a chance to learn and unserstand the online world. How cool!

I love this line, which could be about anywhere public library:

For the library, supplying patrons with access to the Internet and the Web has become central to its mission, an updating of its long tradition of providing information free to the public.

A library in rural Louisiana is highlighted and it’s fascinating. The last line is a quote from Mary Cosper LeBouef, Head Librarian, that to me speaks, pardon the pun, volumes:

In Houma, Mrs. LeBoeuf walked through the bustling new library as mothers with toddlers gathered for story time, the staff stocked shelves with books, and people of all ages sat at clusters of flat-panel PC’s. Computers and the Internet are changing libraries irrevocably, she said.

“Books are never going away, but the future of libraries is much more as community centers,” Mrs. LeBoeuf observed. “I worked here for 22 years and never thought we’d have something like this.”

I’m sayin! The future of libraries is all about access and space. It’s about building spaces that welcome folks and give them access to stuff that makes them want to stay awhile. It’s about planning for our users and the future.

Tame the Web Kudos to Steve Lohr, Mrs. LeBouef and all the folks at the Gates Foundation

Who’s NextGen?

Dale Prince, who I blogged about a few days ago, e-mailed this question and I responded:

Dale asks: Hey, do you consider yourself to be a Next Gen librarian? The criteria seems to be Gen X or Gen Y. Coupland, I believe, puts people born between 60 and 72 in Gen X. I tend to agree with that assessment since the 60s and 70s are not watershed times for me. The eighties were my defining moments, I think. What about you?

I have wrestled with this. I will be 39 in a few weeks. Sometimes I think I’m over the Next Gen Librarian Hill…sometimes not. Then again, is it an age thing at all? Maybe it’s a state of mind…

Rachel Singer Gordon writes:” A personal relationship with new technology allows NextGen librarians to think of new possibilities and of countless small creative options in a way the big-name trendsetters can’t. It’s one thing to read about it, to think about it, but it’s another to live with it and watch our friends use it.”

I like to think I use technology in a personal way and I have a pronounced technolust gene. But I also try to see the big picture for libraries when adding tech stuff.

Hmmmm….

Visiting ThommyFord

While in the greater Chicagoland area, after my Dominican lecture, I zipped down to Western Springs, IL and dropped in on Aaron at Thomas Ford Memorial Library.

NICE library. Friendly folks. Cool Technology… or shall I say, they have some sexy wifi and an official library IM presence. Well done.

Aaron and I go to chat about libraries and conferences over dinner with his wife Kate. We had a great time at CIL this year and I hope we are all together for IL this year as well.

Here’s a gallery….

(Oh..and I got to meet Mao!)

Notes from a Gay Librarian

I met Dale in my pre-conference workshop and he joined us for the big bloggers dinner at CIL. Take a look at his blog:

http://gaylibrarian.blogspot.com/

His frank “Heart of Darkness” piece about a conference trip to Nashville and the Opryland Hotel is a hoot. Describing the “opening of the exhibits reception” he writes:

“They would be a lot less tense about these things if their organization, like all good librarian organizations do, knew that free booze (even if it is cheap-assed Sutter Home) makes for a pleasanter conference. Vendors like free booze, too, I might add.”