Yearly Archives: 2008

749 posts

Putting Wikis into Play

This weekend marks the conclusion of one of my classes this semester at Dominican University’s GSLIS. Internet Fundamentals & Design traces the history of the Net, features some simple Web page coding, and covers a whole lot of Web 2.0 exploration, including group presentations on how to implement new technologies in libraries. Yes, group projects, the bane of college students everywhere, are part of the course as well. Heck, we work in groups in libraries, we might as well get folks used to it in library school. What’s struck me in the last few semesters I’ve been teaching is how […]

Creating a Librarian’s Info-Portal with Netvibes and RSS

What Web page comes up when your staff members open their Web browsers on the service desk or at their own desks? Is it the library’s Web site? That’s a good choice, especially if you have constantly updating news on the front page of your library blog. Perhaps you have your catalog, a search engine, or a commercial news site? All are OK choices–but why not build your own info-portal for your staff with the best of all of these worlds? RSS (really simple syndication or rich site summary) allows us to put content from one place into another with […]

Priceless Images: Getting Started with Flickr

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Some images are priceless, capturing a moment, a person, or an event in time. One of the most important things we can do with our online presence is to take advantage of the graphical nature of the Web and the interactive nature of many Web 2.0 sites to make a big splash with pictures–images of our libraries, our programs, and ourselves. A cost-effective way to do this (and one that yields some benefits for outreach and interaction) is to use Flickr–that Yahoo!-owned, image-sharing community site you may have heard about recently. […]

Ten Tips for Technology Training

Technology training in libraries is more important than ever. New tools and systems require new training and new methods of instruction. How many librarians have found themselves the “accidental” tech trainer for their organizations in recent years? Whether you chose the job, or the job chose you, you have work to do. Library staff and users look to their technology trainers as guides to new Web tools such as wikis and blogs–and we must meet the challenge. Last year at the Internet Librarian International Conference in London I presented with Rob Coers, an Internet training consultant from the Netherlands. We […]

New Forums Launches Online Community New discussion forums now open, the largest free library career portal on the Internet, is pleased to announce the launch of its new online community for librarians. Devoted entirely to career development and job hunting, these forums provide a space for librarians, LIS students, library workers, and information professionals to discuss professional development issues: “I’m excited to be able to offer this space for collaboration and discussion,” says Rachel Singer Gordon, webmaster, “As librarians, we know that we work and learn best in community — I look forward to watching the forums grow.” […]

IM = FASTER Virtual Reference on the Cheap!

Remember the wave of virtual reference talk a few years back? Remember how virtual reference services were supposed to change the very foundations of what we do? Remember how some librarians discovered that those systems required users to navigate into a slowly loading chat queue inside their browsers so you could send, or “push,” pages to them? Remember the price tag to participate in this type of service–let alone the money spent on training and promotion? Well, guess what? Libraries can use a newer method with the same results–any library, of any size, and for a very low cost that […]

Welcome to Our World

Welcome to Tech Tips for Every Librarian, your monthly guide to cost-effective, easily implemented, and otherwise eminently doable technology solutions for your library. Yes, we said your library, and we do mean that! No matter how small, how isolated, or how short on staff or time or money you are. Tech Tips will contain technological solutions you can use. Recognizing that the majority of libraries are small libraries. Tech Tips will give everyone ideas for using technology for maximum impact–with minimum outlay. While writers about technology in libraries often make assumptions about your technological know-how and technical background (or just […]

Internet Years & Dog Years: Remembering Jake

I started Internet training at the St. Joseph County Public Library the same year Jake came to live with me as a 10 month pup. The family that owned him was growing as well, and there was no room for a big Lab puppy with 3 kids and one on the way. So Jake came to Mishawaka and soon found his way into my staff and public classes at SJCPL — nope, Jake never actually made it into the library (although one day he almost did when the Administrators were all off somewhere and we stopped by, but Jake stayed […]

Coping with Anonymity

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens Picture this: your library has launched a visionary long-range reorganization plan that sparks an anonymous, critical blog from staff members. Or your library appears in an anonymous YouTube or Flickr extravaganza that targets your authoritarian signage, unfriendly staff, and dirty public restrooms. Or your soon-to-be-launched web revamp is reviewed on an employee’s personal blog before the library goes public. Hypothetical? No. Such events, which have occurred at various libraries, can make for difficult and stressful times. Are they entirely negative? Can transparency and anonymity coexist? Is it better to turn a blind eye to […]