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!)

Dominican Talk Part II

Yesterday, I drove back into Chicago to Dominican University to speak at Prof. Bill Crowley’s Public Libraries class. What fun! What great students. We had three hours of engaging discussion about technology in public libraries from OPACS to RFID and back again through blogs, RSS and building tech-spaces.

One of the women in the class mentioned libraries wanting to have the sexy technology because it was cool. Oh yes! Technolust! What a great way to describe it: sexy. RFID is sexy. WiFi is rather sexy. Federated searching? SEXY!

I was impressed with the student’s questions – one about copyright stopped me in my tracks with its deepness: Who will win in the copyright wars? The technology makers, the people, the libraries, the content providers? Another shared that her 11 year old daughter is using IM and loving it. A large buddy list, she reported, is a symbol of status….

Lunch beforehand with Prof. Crowley was darn cool as well. We talked libraries, my future PhD endeavor and what it’s like in the academic world.

Here’s my presentation. Take a look at the screenshot of Aaron and I sharing the document via IM for him to give it a once over.

Dominican is lovely… I hope to go back again soon!

That Federated Searching is hot right now…

And yes, Hansel is too..

But really, I just chatted with one of our IT staff who was at the big Innovative Users Group meeting this week and she raved about Metasearch, iii’s version of federated searching, which pullss all of a libraries resources into one place when searched. I like that idea.

One of the big concepts I took away from CIL this year was that it is all about PEOPLE (Thanks Steve Abram!) and if we are to serve our users we should give em one stop shopping for all the stuff we buy. How much does your library spend on leased databases? How much use is there? Instead of doing backflips to get people into our sites and onto a “leased DBs” page…maybe it should be right up front…

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.”

Taming the Public Computer in Miami

I grabbed this from LISNews (I think) days ago and forgot to post it:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/broward_county/8289061.htm?1c

I work the reference desk and I know what it’s like when all of your terminals are full. I’ve seen arguments, scary situations and downright nastiness over access to the Internet. I’m all about access but as the article states it needs to be fair access… not the same folks for 8 hours everyday.

What I wrestle with is the game players and chatters who tie up machines when other folks may want to research reports or personal matters. I know it’s none of my business, but sometimes I feel 5 people having 2 hours each of Yahoo! Games is a waste or resources…

Rachel Singer Gordon: NextGen Libs

I blogged this before but it deserves a close re-read. Gordon gets it!

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA379266

She writes: “In order to keep up with constant change, our profession has the responsibility for integrating the contributions and perspectives of younger librarians into the field. The best way to start is by adopting their perspectives on and comfort with a variety of technological advances.”

IM anyone? Unwired PDAs anyone? Walking Paper anyone?

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens