Category Archives: Library Innovators

Talking with Talis: Open Source Evangelist Nicole Engard


Richard Wallis reports:

2007 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, Nicole C. Engard known for her work at Jenkins Law Library and more recently Princeton Theological Seminary Library, is on the move in to a new and interesting role. Nicole is joining LibLime, the library Open Software company behind Koha, as their Open Software Evangelist.

In this Talking with Talis show, I talk with Nicole about her career so far, the challenge of her new role, and her rear view of the library systems landscape.

Click here to listen:

I think we should watch developments such as this very closely. The structure and focus of Nicole’s new position may influence and guide future jobs for librarians in consortia, large library systems and our associations. I am very happy to see this move and the press around it.

McMaster University Libraries – 2008 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award

 Jeff Trzeciak, University Librarian at McMaster, reports:

I am very pleased and proud to announce that the McMaster University Libraries are the recipient of the *2008 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award* from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

The press release announcing the award is available at

Sponsored by ACRL and Blackwell’s Book Services, the award “recognizes the staff of a college, university and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.” Mary Ellen Davis, president of ACRL calls the award a “tribute to a library and its staff for the outstanding services, programs and leadership they provide to their students, administrators, faculty and community.”

The recipients are selected by committee after an extensive application and review process. The commitee selected McMaster as it “exemplifies a successful transformation from a traditional research library to an innovative, user-centered library using technological advances to accomplish its goals,”

Over the past 18 months the libraries have moved forward thoughtfully in response to the significant changes that have taken place in how students learn and how faculty teach and conduct their research. In some cases, we have taken calculated risks designed to place us at the forefront of academic librarianship in North America. Receiving this award is an indication that the McMaster University Libraries are indeed leading the way!  McMaster University can say proudly that it has —and deserves —the very best in academic libraries.

Congrats to everyone at the library. I always look to the McMaster University Libraries as an example of an academic institution moving forward with a clear plan for integrating technology, leveraging current and emerging trends in education,  and fostering a sense of community within the university. Well done!

Chatting with ACPL

ACPL Video

In December, when I presented at the Allen County Public Library, the good folks there asked me to sit down with their video cameras and answer some questions about reading, books, my early library use and where we might be going. The conversation just went up at YouTube. I am honored to be a part of their ongoing “Conversations” series that also includes Stephen Abram and ACPL Director Jeff Krull. Thanks ACPL!



John Berry on the Future

Excelent piece from John Berry at LJ. He mentions that he teaches at Dominican (!) and sums up very well what I’ve also observed in library school and in our realm here: 

Like those who came before them, the current cadre of librarians bring new tools for the job ahead, technologies that make access to information much easier but just as corruptible. They bring that vitality and spirit that, in themselves, are enough to force change and even shape its outcome. At first, those in power will hang on, as they did decades ago. Ultimately, if we remember the future we so enthusiastically envisioned, we’ll make sure the next generation are enlisted, well received, and take what little power there is to share in our chronically impoverished but permanently crusading profession.

We’ve begun to make it easier for change to come and for them to have a stronger voice in our march to freedom of information and enlightenment for all. We’d like to pick and choose among these new librarians, through our programs for “emerging” leaders and other institutionalized indoctrination. But they have already begun to organize themselves, singling out their own leaders and demanding of us only that same access to the profession that enabled us to make some of our future dreams into today’s realities.

I’ve been waiting for this…. Blogging Directors

Salt Lake

Helene Blowers blogs that the Salt Lake City Public Library is looking for a director, including:

…application instructions for the newly reopened Salt Lake City Public Library’s director search — Your application “package should include a paper resume and directions to your digital presence, blog, or social networking Web site” — you can definitely see a shift is occurring.

In my presentations for the last year or so I’ve been talking about the shift in LIS jobs and urging folks to get ready for the time when director or administrative duties will including use of social tools. That time is here! Thanks Helene.

In 2018 Libraries Will Be….


Make your own here:

Sean Robinson at the cutting-edge Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, inspired by the incredible folks in New Zealand, has created a card creation system for sharing your thoughts on what libraries will be like in ten years. Scoot on over and give it a go. Then checkout the responses here:

DOK Delft offers iPod Touch

DOK Delft offers iPod Touch

Originally uploaded by mstephens7

I don’t think Babelfish got this translation right:

Now get acquainted with newest technology! Always and everywhere listen to music and very sharply films examine, but you can with these IPod also Hertzian at. You serve him by moving your fingers concerning the baffle. For only one euro per day you obtain the neusje of the salmon in house for a first familiarisation. Course at music & film department and question to the leenvoorwaarden.

Okay Indiana Libraries – GO FOR IT!

LibLime, the Athens, OH-based vendor offering open-source ILS solutions, recently signed large contracts with the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) and the Central Kansas Library System. INCOLSA will be using LibLime’s services for the Indiana Shared Library Catalog (ISLC), a multitype resource sharing network composed of 30 member libraries including an art museum, the Indiana Supreme Court Library, and public and school libraries throughout the state. LibLime said its Koha ZOOM solution will provide ISLC members with “a shared integrated library automation system, including a web-based union catalog and integrated circulation, acquisitions, and serials control modules.” The ISLC migration is the first step in a partnership between INCOLSA and the vendor to offer affordable open-source automation solutions to the cooperative’s members.

I would especially like to see my former employer the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend be a leader in this area as the library has been in so many other technology area through the years. Just sayin’.