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?

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!

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens