Carnival of the InfoScience #53 (at long last)
Library Garden is pleased to present the 53rd edition of the Carnival of the Infosciences. It was a busy week at the carnival with several wonderful submissions and also lots of great picks from our own editors here at Library Garden.
Sorry the show is a day late. Technical glitches caused major setbacks several times yesterday [hence the scary clown picture -- that is how I felt as midnight approached and the post got mangled once more]. I tried to get the show on the stage before midnight on the 11th so that you could kick back with your PJ’s on and enjoy the show… but that was not meant to be. Nonetheless, we have an exciting first act with a wide variety of submissions for your viewing pleasure:
Steve Backs from Blog about Libraries wrote to report that they are trying something new in September- Naked Reference! This means staff may not bring anything to the reference desk. No projects, bookcarts, etc. so that they can concentrate 100% on patron service. This is something that all libraries should consider doing –we have done it at MPOW in the past and it a real eye-opener. Not only is it a post worth reading but I also really liked his diagram about the myth of multitasking. So be sure to check out the stimulating Reference in the Raw post.
Bill Drew from Baby Boomer Librarian submitted his post Wanted: Librarians using Conduit (was effective Brand) toolbars as it has drawn several comments. In fact, Bill reports that he hopes to start some type of resource page, blog, or maybe a wiki page around using the Conduit toolbar. Stay tuned to Bill’s blog for updates!
Liz B, a contributor to many blogs, stopped by to give us the link to her post on Pop Goes the Library entitled Knowledgeable Guides in which she discusses the new “people added” search engine with “knowledgeable” guides being paid 5 dollars an hour. How do you spell respect? And why are people going to chacha instead of libraries for people added searches? Good questions Liz …
Michael Anuzis submitted his post Google Reader for those Ahead of the Curve in which he describes the effiency and productivity gains that come through using Google Reader. Michael feels that including this post will be a fresh way to offer readers some advice they can leverage immediately while reading other blogs at the carnival.
That wraps up the first act of the carnival. Our second act consists of a few picks and favorites posts from some of the editors here at Library Garden:
Amy has been reading Alan Kirk Gray’s blog and she would like to draw our attention to his recent post called Good News. Your Place of Work is Risk-free! as it is a really nice discussion of how many libraries have arrived at making decisions based on trying avoid the worst thing happening. The result,according to this post, is that we miss out on possible successful actions because we are afraid of the possibility of some bad outcomes. Amy reports that she seen this a lot in libraries and thinks that “diving into some uncertainty” would be a welcome change! This blog post is a great call to such action!
Pete enjoyed Darlene Fichter’s post “Is Your Library Remarkable?” over at Blog on the Side. Darlene invokes Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” asking, “What holds some libraries and library staff from creating more a purple cow? For going for a “wow” effect? Fear is the problem. If you’re remarkable, you’re no longer safe. Some of the people that notice you will be critical. Going for the “wow” means taking risks – you need to explore the limits.” Right on Darlene! This post made me think of Bob Sutton’s “ Weird Ideas that Work“, especially , “Reward success and failure, punish inaction.” I’ve been thinking about that one a lot lately!
Another knockout post reported by Pete came from Ellyssa Kroski over at Infotangle. Her post, Online Community and Libraries (parts I and II of IV) clearly builds off of the great work of Jenny Levine and Michael Stephens. Ellyssa gives the topic her own excellent treatment, adding some wonderful discussion of Ray Oldenburg’s “Third Place” and it’s importance in light of Robert Putnam’s ideas about our increasing social disconnection. Contrary to some conventional wisdom, Ellyssa cites evidence to suggest that the Internet may be helping to create communities and connections, rather than destroying them. Looking forward to the parts III and IV!
Robert submits Why “duh”… isn’t that was posted on Creating Passionate Users by Kathy Sierra as his pick of the week. Robert feels that this post is well worth the read, for librarians and anybody else dealing with customers–yeah, just about everybody! It is about, I know I’m going to hear groans….customer service. But this is a really smart discussion on it.
Finally, I have two editor picks of my own for this week’s carnival:
The first is Michelle Boule’s thought-provoking ALA TechSource post Building a Better Beta. After a quick review of successful beta products and services that have huge followings and built communities as a result she makes the point that “Going beta has become less of what you roll out and more of just what you do — a mind set.” Wow… I honestly never thought of it that way. Michelle then poses the question “How can libraries build beta products and services and develop their own followings?” and the remainder of the post attempts to answer this question. The resulting discussion in the comments is also worth a read.
The second one is from Stephen’s Lighthouse – actually it’s from September 2nd so I am cheating a little by including it this week, BUT it really hit home with me when I read it yesterday. Stephen wrote a concise and clear guide to Doing the Dreaded V-Mail Thing Better and if every person I need to be in contact with as a result of my new position would read this post my life would be a whole lot better. I previously received 3-5 messages per day on my V-Mail, suddenly my volume has more than quadrupled and most of the messages are notintelligiblee on the first listen. So, take a moment, brush up on your V-Mail skills and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
That concludes our show for this week. Be sure to visit Michael Casey at Library Crunch for the next edition of the Carnival of the InfoSciences. Hosting is a lot of fun, be sure to volunteer to have your blog host for a week and keep the carnival moving! [check out the Hosting Guidelines on the wiki for more information]
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