Best of PubLib 02.08.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

weekly updateThis week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of February 1st through February 7th 2010. This week includes questions about collection development, thought-provoking discussions about social reference questions , library website development,  and changes to library employment qualifications. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:

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Virtual Reference

Best of PubLib Feature : featured article

The PubLib listserve members recently debated the possibilities and virtues of virtual reference.  This new article and process for virtual reference on our sister site – Best of Web4Lib begins to explore virtual reference design and designing virtual librarians : 

Virtual Reference

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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 01.11.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Video coming soon

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of December 31st, 2009 through January 10th, 2010. This week includes questions about insect extermination, thought-provoking discussions about the politics of library cards and communication , comparison of cataloging software,  and the effect of weather on library operations. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    iTunes on Public Computers - Natalie Morgan in Boerne, TX asks how to accomodate iPod downloads  – Can privacy and security be expected?
  • Topic   »    Braille – Michael McGrorty in Los Angeles provides this NYT article on the use of Braille  – Are there viable alternatives?
  • Topic   »    Email Notification Complaint - Diedre Conkling in Newport, Oregon is investigating the efficiency of email notices – Does email notice content differ from paper?
  • Topic   »    Buggy books - Karen Hiser in Charleston, West Virginia wants to know how to kill bug / insect eggs in library materials – What are the best methods for extermination?
  • Topic   »    Quick (hopefully) question about Excel – Phalbe Henriksen in Taylorsville, NC  seeks tutorials on Excel chart creation
  • Topic   »    Home Cataloging Software? – Tony Ross seeks reviews of cataloging software for collections >2500 without the social networking of:  Shelfari, LibraryThing  and Goodreads – What are your experiences with software such as:  Readerware  , Collectorz  and Delicious-Monster?
  • Topic   »    definitions needed – reference vs. non-reference – Ellen Eyberg in El Paso, TX asks for guidance on the scope of reference questions – When does direction become an intellectual endeavor?
  • Topic   »    Infopeople’s webinar “TEDx for Libraries” – Linda Rodenspiel of infopeople.org is promoting TEDx webinar to facilitate library programming – TED rocks!
  • Topic   »    Library card needed for checkout? - Linda Fairbanks in Oak Brook, IL questions library card mandates – What are the politics of library cards?
  • Topic   »    Wiki in the Library question - Kevin Clement wants to know how libraries are using Wiki’s as internal communication tools – How do Wiki’s work for you?
  • Topic   »    Advocating for YA Librarian - Ryan Livergood in Dover, MA wants to show critical need for young adult librarians – What are some great examples?
  • Topic   »    CD/DVD cleaning machines - Mary Hall in Bedford, IN would like to get ratings and opinions of CD / DVD cleaning machines – Which ones work the best?
  • Topic   »    Open Source Newspaper Indexing Software - Jesse Higel in Mount Vernon, OH seeks examples of free / Open Source indexing software.  Sharon Foster in New Hampshire provides an excellent example  with Zoho Creator.
  • Topic   »    Cameras - Debbie Winlock would like opinions on the use of security cameras in libraries – What works? What doesn’t?
  • Topic   »    ebook readers – experience/success with the audio download – any personal or professional testimonials - Gail Preslar Kingsport, TN seeks evaluation along with ongoing technical reviews – Sony Reader , Amazon Kindle , Barnes & Noble Nook are market leaders.
  • Topic   »    Expanded use OPAC - Joe McKenzie would like  optimal methods for utilizing OPAC computers as short-term web browsers – Does expanding internet access create more demand? If you build it, who will come?
  • Topic   »    Position Open in the Beautiful NW – Regan Robinson in Lynden, WA  advertised this Web Coordinator position  at Whatcom Library System – Resident Arizonian PubLib humorist Joe Schallan takes exception to  ‘beautiful Northwest‘.
  • Topic   »    Closing for weather poll – Linda Cannon – Joplin, MO wants to know when you shut your library down due to weather – What closes your library? 

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This Week in Best of Publib and ALA

Best of Publib Current Topics and PubLib gathering at ALA in Boston, MA.

This Week in  Best of Publib 2010 will return on January 11th – to include topics from December 31st 2009 through January 10th 2010.

In the meantime, Publib list moderator –  Karen Schneider – is looking at scheduling a gathering of PubLib contributors and fans during the American Library Association – Midwinter Meeting.  We will be roaming about the exhibit hall Saturday – January 16th  with cameras and cam in hand. I would love to meet and gather impressions and musings  of librarianship for the January 18th edition of Best of PubLib.

Our sister site – Best of Web4Lib  – is finally launched and will be featuring library web development discussions from that popular listserve beginning January 18th.

We hope to see you at ALA!

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This Week in Best of PubLib 12.14.2009

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Video coming soon

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of December 7th through December 13th. This week includes questions about building collections in Western, Urban Fiction and Romance genres along with thought-provoking discussions about  library organization, library reorganization and control of libraries.  Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    olympics? – Sharon Dalton in Parlin, NJ would like to know about Olympic themes for marketing library programs and materials.
  • Topic   »    urban fiction - Elizabeth Fraser in  Charleston WV is looking for good urban fiction resources.
  • Topic   »   Mail Chimp - Lisa Pappas in  Plainfield, IL wants to know who is using Constant Contact and who is using Mail Chimp - How do they compare?
  • Topic   »    RESUME - Karen Hertel in Idaho asks – what to include on librarian resumes  - Are academic librarian resumes the same as public librarian resumes?
  • Topic   »    Moving from a municipal department to an association library? – Laurel Goodgion in Wethersfield CT  seeks examples of municipal libraries that became independent libraries.
  • Topic   »    Reorganizing customer service | Library organization structure –  Janice Painter in  Princeton, NJ is investigating cross training and various innovative methods of reorganization.
  • Topic   »    software questions – Helen Rigdon in  Kansas City, Kansas wants to know if libraries qualify for academic price breaks on software – Is Open Office a viable alternative and what about TechSoup?
  • Topic   »    Flooring material – Connie Meyer in Fort Atkinson, WI is finishing a building project and seeks flooring suggestions.
  • Topic   »    Rental Ready Videos vs retail editions, Library edition audiobooks vs. retail editions – Jeanette Piquet in Richmond Heights, MO  is looking for guidance on vendor definitions – What are the legal and ethical ramifications?
  • Topic   »    Building upon an existing Romance Collection – Sherise Pagan is looking for web site sources to help develop a  Romance collection
  • Topic   »    Western Paperbacks – Ann Moore  in New York is looking for sources for up-to-date paperback westerns
  • Topic   »    Bags for Patrons, plastic or otherwise – Rebecca Hermen in Michigan is looking for economical, green library  bag guidance
  • Topic   »    Kirkus is shutting down – Mamie  Ney in Maine gives the sad news about the cessation of Kirkus
  • Topic   »    Friday funny – Elizabeth Thorson in Cheyenne, WY reports on extraordinary autographs located in The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists
  • Topic   »    Controlling Libraries - Who should control public libraries? Should ALA?  Should ethics?  Should politicians?  Should professional librarians42 ? Take our poll!

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This Week in Best of PubLib 11.01.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of October 26th through November 1st. This week includes questions about collection development, thought provoking discussions about intellectual property rights and enemies of libraries , reference librarian development,  and the value of library Ph.d programs. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    Creative display ideas – Robin Shader in Georgia would like your ideas for a display workshop – Abbey Dunlap has many!
  • Topic   »     Best book of the year – David Faulkner wants to know – What has been your favorite ___ this year? – Not just for books!
  • Topic   »    PLA Room Share wiki for 2010 – Kathleen Hughes and Brenda Dowling want you to ‘get a room’.
  • Topic   »    Intellectual property rights – Michael McGrorty points to this Chicago Tribune article - cd ownership – Is ripping from a Library CD ripping off?
  • Topic   »    Facebook courses – France Meadows would like to know if you have taught courses on Facebook. 
  • Topic   »    Community resource websites – Kim Braun in Chester, PA would like examples of community resource websites.  Looks like a job for Drupal!
  • Topic   »    Cat litter redux – Phalbe Henriksen in Taylorsville, NC wants to know – Does cat litter preserve library materials?
  • Topic   »    Shelving plan expertise – Pam Kiesner in Bellingham, WA asks for the best method of reshelving – What is most efficient?
  • Topic   »    Ph.D. Program in Library Science - Judith Turner questions the real value of the Ph. D – Is the MLS the real terminal degree?
  • Topic   »    Career change – A new MLS want to know how to get her foot in the door - In the current economy, how do you start?
  • Topic   »    Reference Department Structure – Carrie Herrman in Burlington, KY would like help developing management skills for reference librarians?
  • Topic   »    Looking for libraries with gardens - Mary Jordan at Simmons is looking for examples of library gardens – How does your garden grow?
  • Topic   »    Oak Brook, the Attorney and the Teamsters – Kathy Berggren offers this story of a library community undermined in Oak Brook, IL  –  How do we respond?

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