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?

SJCPL Blog make the Local Paper

Library communicates with blogs
Web logs easy to update, viewed via Internet
By ANNIE BASINSKI Tribune Staff Writer

This morning in the South Bend Tribune, SJCPL received some nice press in the form of an article about our blog, which last week underwent a change from two seperate blogs to one BIG one!

“Blogs ranging from personal to political are turning up everywhere on the Internet — from Howard Dean’s presidential campaign blog to Newsweek’s “MarthaWatch.” Michael Stephens, head of networked resources development and training at the St. Joseph County Public Library, started “blogging” last year after he learned about blogs, or Web logs, at a computer and library conference. He had visited blogs for his own personal use and decided to introduce his library to them.

“Blog was the buzz word at the conference,” he said. “People are using blogs to keep library information current and to promote library material.” Like Web sites, blogs communicate information via the Internet. Blogs also often display links to other Web sites and have dated postings — sometimes with commentary — similar to journal entries written by the blogs’ authors.

One difference between blogs and conventional Web sites is that blogs can be updated more easily through blog publishing software, so information can be changed faster and more frequently.

Web logs allow bloggers to communicate instantly by using software programs such as iBlog, which powers SJCPL’s blogs.

“It really is an efficient way to deliver content because the programming is done automatically,” Stephens said.

Last May, St. Joseph County Public Library added a Book Blog and Sights and Sounds Blog to its Web site.

The blogs, created and maintained by bloggers Joseph Sipocz, head of collection development, and Julie Hill, head of sights and sounds, list titles of best sellers, newly ordered books, DVDs, videotapes and CDs and provide commentary on recent library acquisitions.

“A blog has a diarylike feel and is usually in reverse chronological order,” said Stephens.

The library’s blogs include summaries of books and media and have links to reviews and authors’ and artists’ Web sites. Links to photos, excerpts and other media can also be found on the blogs…..”

Take a look at the SJCPL Lifeline: All the News that’s Fit to Blog. I was inspired by KPL Librarian David King at CIL who said our users don’t want to go to different places for content. The new SJCPL blog will include all the Book Blog stuff, the AV info and much much more.

We have also moved on from iBlog — which gave out on me at CIL — and into Movable Type! We also moved to a directiory at LISHOst.org from a .mac account.

Google: Free Web Mail? Hooray! (Google has become a Portal)

CNN reports this am the Google announced yesterday a new Web mail service.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/internet/03/31/google.email.ap/index.html

I have taught Yahoo Mail for years at my library and on other training/consulting jobs. I’m interested to see how Google stacks up. I can already tell, I may switch. Why? The Google name – be all end all for searching for most folks (I know…I know…) carries a lot of good connotations for me.

“But analysts said that Google — whose technology is behind nearly four out of every five Web searches — could shake up the free e-mail market.”

The public uses Google big time. In this day of one stop shopping (one of my favorite terms for Web portals), folks may get a big kick out of having their e-mail at the search site. OH MY! The light just shines through — Google has become a portal! Search, directory, discussions, catalogs, proiducts, local info and now MAIL… Was this discussed in a Google session I didn’t make it to at CIL?

“Yahoo dominates the niche, with 52.6 million unique users per month in the United States, according to a February survey by online research firm comScore Media Metrix. Hotmail is next, with 45.4 million users. AOL has 40.2 million paying users.

To finance the service, Google will display advertising links tied to the topics discussed within the e-mails. For instance, an e-mail inquiring about an upcoming concert might include an ad from a ticket agency.”

Sounds good – except my only concern is the perception that e-mail messages are read by someone to determine what ads get placed in what messages.

Trainers: be aware… and be ready to fold this new option into your e-mail classes.

UPDATE: I picked up on some of the commentary about GMail and the whole thing about the Google bots reading mail to determine what ad goes where — especially Karen’s post at FRL and I agree — we have a ways to go with this sort of system. And Karen, I’m all for a big ole letstalkcommonsenseinthedigitalenvironmentfest… let me know where the gathering is and I’m there with the proverbial bells on. I love the idea of Google offering mail…just not this way!

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.

Instant Messaging & Video Chat between the Branches


Joe and I IM after class. Dale, our Web Developer, made his custom icon!

This is cool. I just spent an hour with our branch heads teaching them how to use AIM on their Mac PowerBooks to communicate with each other from wherever they find themselves. With all the talk about IM: at CIL, in blogs and in SLIS classes (a recent email from a student/SJCPL colleague reported that an IU SLIS professor stated that IM will be the way to communicate by 2007!) — it is good for the branch librarians to be aware of what IM is, how it works and how they can participate. This is info/tech literacy for sure! Our next step, conceived by the Coordinator of branches, is to try video chats with iSights!

I gave them an assignment: to login in the next 2 days and IM me a greeting. Simple? Yes. Pointing toward the future? Yes.

IM me at mstephens7mac if you are so inclined…

Computers in Libraries 2004 Quick Takes

CIL Highlights included all I’ve written in this category before and the following:

Meeting Rachel Singer Gordon before Friday?s keynote. Her book came out the same time as mine and we were reviewed together a few times. Her writing has inspired me ever since, especially her well-thought views on where our profession is heading.

Our Bloggers Dine Around (WE missed you Steven!) where 12 people fell in for great Thai food, some yummy cocktails and some darn fine chat: blogs in the library workplace, PDAs, the wireless world, evil PowerPoint presentations and of course a recap of the Dead and Emerging Technologies program the night before.

David King of Kansas City Public Library speaking about meeting users needs with the PL Web site and a local slant. GOOD STUFF! He and I have chatted since then and I look forward to chatting again about all this cool IT stuiff we get bto mess with at the public library. (and about MUSIC too!)

More laptops in the audience this year? a few PCs, tablets, and yes, some Macs!!! I was please to see Roy Tennant?s 17? PB and I told him so in the elevator.

Hanging with Jenny and Aaron between sessions in the WiFi Lounge in the lobby of the Hilton, watching CIL dignitaries pass by?

Jenny Levine on Dead Technologies

One of the highlighhts of this Conference was seeing Jenny Levine at the Wednesday night Dead and Emerging Technologies session. She made some great points. This stuff is spot on. She gratefully shared her notes with me, so here’s a bit that really hit home for me: (Jenny’s words are in bold!)

THINGS THAT SCARE ME

- Library web sites with email reference forms that say ?We will respond to your email within 48 hours? Uh Oh – SJCPL is guilty!

- Libraries that don?t provide wireless access for patrons, librarians that don?t understand why they will need to OH YES!!!

- Librarians who think patrons won?t bring their own mobile devices into the library and expect to use them there (laptops, PDAs, cell phones, smartphones, Tablet PCs, MP3 players, etc.)

- Librarians who sit behind a desk waiting for kids to walk into the building and up to the reference desk to ask them a question Case in point: Aaron the roving untethered librarian who was sitting next to me during this session!

DEAD TECHNOLOGY: any electronic device you can hold in your hand that does not have wireless capabilities

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens