Best of PubLib 02.21.10

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Best of PubLib TVComing Soon!

This week  in  Best of Publib covers February 15th through February 21st 2010. This week includes PubLib questions about collection development, the value of on-line tutorials and databases , organization of gaming tournaments,  and the cause of stress in public libraries. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

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Best of PubLib ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall Review

Best of PubLib at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibit Hall Review

This week,  Best of Publib covered the ALA Exhibit Hall at the Boston Convention Center.   The HD video below includes hundreds of vendor displays.  We hope it will help you imagine the experience if you were not able to attend, or help refresh and reinforce what you learned.  

 
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Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

The Boston Convention Center was an excellent venue for ALA. The train brought us to South Station - just a few minutes away from the hotels and convention amenities.   There are many local publishers and library suppliers within a short distance, so start-ups and unique product suppliers could present affordably.  And, Boston rocks!  The Freedom Trail, Duck Tours , along with world-class museums and libraries are within short distances of the convention center.  

The organizational effort by ALA and attention to detail by the library vendors was outstanding. It was easy to lose track of time on the exhibit hall floor amidst the panorama and noise.  It took on a casino / carnival atmosphere with prizes to win and vendors pitching their games. High above, you could use the Food Court sign as a directional beacon.  

Of all the hundreds of vendors represented, we chose to review five.  

The first is : I-Concepts which defines itself as Innovative Concepts for Nonprofit Organizations.  We could imagine many libraries outside of Boston benefiting from this service, along with fostering a general appreciation of local history archives.  If you are looking for a way to both encourage collection use and raise funds – i-concepts may be the answer. The Amelia Earhart print was fascinating.  

LibraryThing.com/forLibraries

The second  is : LibraryThing. Tim Spalding along with his gregarious black-shirted  horde truly represented the best of Open Source, Library 2.0 and viral marketing. They were eager to engage and highly entertaining.  

The third vendor is : LE@D-Lifelong Education @ Desktop from the University of North Texas   This group was absolutely charming and demonstrated infectious enthusiasm for their services. They dressed in some of the most colorful attire at the exhibit.  Le@D  provides highly affording library training. According to Director – Kevin Haney (in the middle with the green shirt) – costs are as low as $15 for a course! Enthusiastic library training –  Deep in the heart of Texas!  

New York Times

The fourth vendor is: The New York Times offering 50% off Home Delivery Service
 Marketing was conducted by On the Avenue Marketing Group with this excellent salesperson hawking half-price subscriptions. She may have been the hardest working individual in the exhibit hall. Yet, it was somehow troubling that this was the limit of representation of the New York Times publishing empire.  

III

The fifth vendor is: III – Innovative Interfaces Incorporated. III is one of the heavy hitters in the Library industry. Many libraries are dependent on their products and they have  a loyal base. I worked on two transitions to III – the first at Brown University from CLSI and the second at CLAN libraries from Horizon. I have used III for over twenty years and find it offers outstanding service. However, what I observed in the exhibit hall was troubling.  

The III booth was very well-appointed and designed with several interactive product displays. It supported a large group of associates to answer questions. Yet, few were actually engaged in discussions with anyone but their co-workers. A librarian approached two of the representatives to thank III for providing a pass to the exhibit hall. One of the representatives took a look at the librarian’s badge and said something to the effect of :

 “Well ______ must have been giving away those passes all along the east coast, we had another librarian from ____ stop by earlier “.

Then the rep rattled off a few names of people they considered important from that same institution and basically dismissed the librarian. There was no sales pitch. No offer to demo. Merely, a dismissal. 

Library Service, especially in the public library sector, ideally levels the playing field. Service is equal. In contrast, some vendor representatives have obviously been instructed to find out the station of the exhibit hall attendee, determine if they were of the buyer / influencer class and dismiss the others. Yet, the nature of libraries and librarians as technology consumers requires generating interest throughout an organization and getting everyone to buy in. If you have six vendor representatives at an exhibit and you don’t have a crowd around your people, then you should generate interest by engaging everyone.  All of the library vendors were start-ups at one point.   

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The exhibit hall may be the most effective way to get hands on experience with some of the newest and most exciting products in the library world.  The meager twenty-five dollar entrance fee – or having an inside vendor representative hook you up for free makes the experience well worth the visit.  

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This Week in Best of PubLib 12.30.2009

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Happy New Year from Best of PubLib

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of December 22nd through December 30th. This week includes questions about hardware and software, thought-provoking discussions about intellectual freedom, library security,  and pets in libraries. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:

  • Topic   »    Suspected getaway driver, woman, arrested in library…  Phalbe Henriksen brings us this story from North Carolina where the suspects attempted to use the library as a hideout – Are libraries safe houses?
  • Topic   »    Screening Rated R films at your library –  Hiawatha Henry in Houston, TX   wants to know what policies and pitfalls there are for screening R-rated films in libraries – Sue Kamm notes that the MPAA sets the rating standards and libraries should not act in loco parentis
  • Topic   »    Permission slips for Minors - Monica Casanova in Monticello, IN is looking for examples of permission slips for screening R rated films – Are permission slips part of your library rules?
  • Topic   »    Scanners for public use – Alison R. Moss in  Lafayette, IN wants to know what products and policies libraries are using for scanners
  • Topic   »    Freedom and detention – Michael McGrorty in Los Angeles, CA  notes how Al Hajj was released without charges – are we in a police state?
  • Topic   »    Off Duty Police Officers - Sydne Dean in Colorado wants to know the benefits of using off-duty police officers to provide library security  – what is the best balance of security?
  • Topic   »    lap top computers - Pam Tomka in Washington, IL is looking at loaning out lap tops – who has a great policies and procedures?
  • Topic   »    Testing DVD playability - Cab Vinton in Sanbornton, NH is having trouble verifying if DVD problems are with the players or media – is there a great software or process?
  • Topic   »    Compilation of Instant Message Responses - Becky Carden in Fort Wayne, IN provided a list of IM products for VRS (virtual reference services) including: Meebo, Wimba Pronto, QuestionPoint, Library31p, and LivePerson – how do you implement virtual reference?
  • Topic   »    Donor Recognition Policies - Abigail Elder in Tualitin, Oregon wants excellent examples of donor recognition – How do you recognize your benefactors?
  • Topic   »    Memorial donations - Jeanne Valentine in Illinois is looking for ways to improve memorial books program – are there bookplate standards?
  • Topic   »    Pets in Public Libraries - Wendy Wendt in Grand Forks, ND inherited a library cat- what are the pros and cons of pets in libraries? Are there liabilities for allergic responses? What happens with waste?

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This Week in Best of PubLib 11.30.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of November 23rd through November 30th. This week includes questions about the methodology of Library Journal’s Library Index, bandwidth management, libraries as art subjects,  and library workplace violence.  Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    LJ Index Misbehaving Data – Thomas Hennen of HALPR index questions the LJ index -  Which is more transparent?  See poll below !
  • Topic   »    Library Gems – Marshall Shore is putting together programs on libraries that innovate – Can you recommend some?
  • Topic   »    Tracking Reference Books Use – Alison Moss in Lafayette, Indiana wants to know – how do you derive your reference statistics?
  • Topic   »    BLACKLISTING BANDWIDTH HOGS – Larry Hlavsa in New Ulm, Minnesota ask how you handle Hulu and Youtube when they disrupt  service.
  • Topic   »    Policy for viewing DVDs within library – Nicole Johnson  in Loves Park, Illinois wants to know if you provide DVD players for in-house use.
  • Topic   »    Libraries As Represented in Art – Michael Schofield in Florida would like some sources – Impressionists?
  • Topic   »    100th anniversary – Susan Riley in Mount Kisco, New York is having a party for her library – Ideas? Elizabeth Fraser tells us they go for the gold!
  • Topic   »    Digital signage – PubLib list moderator Karen Schneider wants to know what sort of system you would recommend.
  • Topic   »    CD book question – Mark Arend in Oshkosh, Wisconsin asks – What if a gift says: Not for sale to libraries?
  • Topic   »    How to handle violent patrons? A violent workplace incident was reported out of the New York Public Library – How would you react? How should you react?

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This Week in Best of PubLib 11.08.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of November 2nd through November 8th. This week includes questions about collection management,  discussions about language learning systems , library crime,  and the do’s and don’ts of library work. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    Major news regarding Highwood (IL) PL  – Karen Turk brings us news of library board members being dismissed – Does this create a new precedent?
  • Topic   »    CDs – Cataloging and displaying – Donald Crews in Union, Kentucky wants to know how you organize your CD collections -
  • Topic   »    Help finding a website on library legal issues – Elizabeth Fraser wants to locate a website for library legalities – Diedre Conkling recommends LibraryLaw
  • Topic   »    V-ness – In a twist of the discussion on the Oak Brook incident – M. McGrorty in Los Angeles tries to define the nature of vileness – Does gender weigh heavily or is vileness a universal condition?
  • Topic   »    Waiver of Responsibility for Displayed Art – Sue Violino in Norwalk, CT is looking for examples of art display waivers – Is public art a public risk?
  • Topic   »    A Spoooky Tale of Shameless Self Promotion –  David Wright the Seattle Public Library is telling stories on NPR – Listen !
  • Topic   »    Social networking policies – PubLib moderator Karen Schneider is looking for examples – How do you control in-house 2.o use?
  • Topic   »    50 things [library staff] should never do – Tom Cooper in Webster Groves, Missouri is creating a list – Are there more do’s than don’ts?
  • Topic   »    Language Learning Systems – Natalie Morgan wants to know what you are using – Byki , Mango , PowerSpeak and Tell Me More  get recommended.
  • Topic   »    library robberies – The 50 things discussion diverged into library crime – what will they steal next?
  • Topic   »    MA Library in trouble – Melissa Mannon gave us the news that the Massachusetts State Library is under the gun – what is the governor thinking?
  • Topic   »    Library Jobs – There is a new tool available – maybe it can help you!
  • Topic   »    Helping Friends – Marita Squires in Oregon wants to know your policies for staff helping Library Friends - When is helping friends hurting staff?
  • Topic   »    Trackball Abductions – are trackballs being abused or is this a false memory? – PubLib members want to know!

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This Week in Best of Publib 10.18.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the weeks of September 28th through October 18th. These last weeks include discussions about food for fines and collection development, thought provoking discussions about drug testing Friends groups and  cataloging Obama , post mortem niceties,  and the relevance of Teamster librarians. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic -  Children and technology – Should we give them what they want or tell them what they should want?
  • Topic -  f32bb3e838340b8318b565ac7e59477d3b5c775d – Do we confirm, deny or neither?
  • Topic -  PubLib list moderator Karen Schneider is on the move again – Is Oakland ready for her? – Will Tallahassee ever be the same?
  • Topic -  ALA-APA seeks course providers – But writers ask ‘At what cost’?
  • Topic -  The cashless library? Is your money is no good here anymore?
  • Topic  Food for fines revisited – How do you balance the budget and still help the less fortunate? 
  • Topic -   NYPL staffer Esther Averill’s and her Jenny Linsky books.
  • Topic -   - Patrons and back packs - should there be different rules for teens?
  • Topic -   – Vacation messages – housekeeping your email settings – Should you use Gmail for Publib?
  • Topic -   – Foreign language collection development - What are the best sources?
  • Topic -   – Downloadable audiobooks – What resources are available other than Overdrive?
  • Topic -   – Selling thumb drive / usb devices – Elizabeth Fraser in Charleston WV explores cost management.
  • Topic   – Sign me up – Does the brand of union affect the outcome of negotiations? Does a Teamster librarian have more clout?
  • Topic   – Is there a nicer name for post mortem ? Phalbe Henriksen from the great State of North Carolina asks for a less morbid descriptor.
  • Topic   – Room use and background / drug tests for Friends groups in New York – Do you ask your Friends to pee in a cup?
  • Topic -   – Cataloging  Obama – Pre-Obama presidency and post-election materials cataloging rules investigated – Where do you shelve the President?
  • Topic   – What are libraries charging for non-resident use of the Internet? What are the new economics – how are costs recovered from transient patrons?
  • Topic   – Library Drug policies – Do you have a library Drug Czar or needle sharing programs?  Do you just say ‘know’?
  • Topic   – Our time – Michael McGorty provides a thoughtful  link to this LATimes homeless story   – from the richest country on earth.

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