Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

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.”

Communicating with Technology in Libraries

I haven’t got to post about this yet but on March 17th I was a guest speaker at Professor Bill Cowley’s class on Organizational Communication in Libraries at Dominican University GSLIS in River Forest, Ill.

(In my opinion, Dominican ROCKS! The staff I met, students, everyone was were friendly and energetic. The campus is beautiful. And I know some GSLIS grads who are pretty excellent librarians!)

My topic was using to technology to communicate in libraries. I covered e-mail, delivering a library’s message vis Web sites, the internal Web presence (Intranets), Instant Messaging, chat-based services, blogging, RSS and future innovations. What fun it was to discuss this stuff with students deep in their Masters studies.

Here’s my PowerPoint presentation. Thanks to Jenny and Steven for the use of a bit of their RSS talk from CIL 2003!

This day came two days after the phone call from Texas about the PhD program so I got to tell Professor Crowley about it and over dinner we had a wonderful discussion about library education.

I’ll be back at Dominican on April 12 to speak to another of Prof. Crowley’s classes. This time it’s Technology in Public Libraries.

Steven Cohen: Mover & Shaker

I love this:

“Though Cohen has every intention of staying in a corporate environment, he remains an advocate of public libraries. ‘There is nothing in this country, including the right to vote, that transcends the right to walk into any public library, sit down, and read any piece of material in the building.”

I met Steven a year ago at CIL 2003 and we’ve been colleagues and, more impoortantly, friends ever since. I was so happy to see his name amongst this year’s list of Movers & Shakers at LJ.

Rock On Steven!

Fewer, Better Libraries run by Fewer, Better Librarians.

Barbara Quint’s wit and writing send me everytime! I was so happy to be on the panel with her at IL (even though she was just on a speaker phone, she captured the room with her words!)

Read this:

http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/feb04/voice.shtml

Looking forward, Quint theorizes that digital libraries (huge digital libraries..) will allow 24/7 access to huge amounts opf easily published materials. How do librarians fit in? “The trick for the future of the profession,” she writes, ” lies in finding new tasks that need doing, new ways to do them, and ways to convince clients everywhere that they need us.”