Archive for June, 2007

Tootling one’s own horn

(this has been sitting in drafts for 3 weeks.)

File under, “Tootling one’s own horn” In this case mine. Hey look everyone, I’ve learned to talk good!

Yes, I am now an official Toastmasters Competent Communicator (aka CTM).

Toot! Toot!

Yes, posts about ALA coming soon (for now here are the pix.) And more on public speaking, doing improv, library futures.

June 29, 2007 at 8:26 pm 6 comments

DIY Book Scanner

A colleague sent me a link today that is too good not to share — instructions on how to build your own book scanner using Lego and a variety of other items that most geeks will have on hand or be able to get easily.

Dick Eastman found the same instructions after his return from the ALA conference earlier this week where he had watched the Kirtas APT BookScan 2400 in action, but suffered sticker shock from the $120,000 price tag.

If anyone else in libraryland gets inspired and builds their own scanner from Lego and kite string, be sure to let me know and post the pictures on flickr!

June 29, 2007 at 2:54 pm 3 comments

We ARE Change Agents!

Man, this is cool!

Helene Blowers got it at the ALA conference!

June 26, 2007 at 8:26 am 2 comments

SRP 2007!

If you happen to feel jealous of those kids doing summer reading programs (and/or maybe jealous of their parents and/or children’s librarians), here’s your chance to get involved with some summer reading!

Some folks are doing an online Summer Reading Program! It’s a blog, and there is a MySpace and a facebook for it – you can join and post your goals for summer reading, your books and your reviews. It’s very casual and I think it looks like fun…. If you are already reading and posting books/reviews, etc., you can just keep posting there and you’ll be linked on the SRP blog…. or you can send reviews to the blog.

Have you/could you consider setting up something like this for your patrons!? It’s pretty darn simple, quick and easy (AND FREE!) to do and requires really very little work from YOU!
Think about it ….

I have joined as libraryamy (my gmail id) and created the facebook group. See the blog for blogger and MySpace info.

Happy reading!

June 26, 2007 at 5:45 am

Friday Fun: Mental Floss Quiz of the Week!

I really love this magazine, Mental Floss, that we get here are the library… in fact, it says right on it… “Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix!”

Actually, my director loves it too and so do some others around here so it is quite a trick to actually get your hands on it. I think if I ever have to I will end up subscribing to it…

Anyway, they also have a mailing list and they sent out this Quiz of the Week: Discontinued Ben & Jerry’s Flavor or Band I Found on MySpace!?

It’s pretty funny and I love the way they have the answers for you after you take it, complete with links to actual bands found on MySpace! ;-)

Enjoy!

I only got 5/10 though. My director got 8/10! WOW! How well can YOU do!?

June 22, 2007 at 3:03 pm 1 comment

Multiple Tools = Multiple Work!?

The always smart and thought-provoking Claire over on the PALS Plus 2.0 blog wrote about “living in interesting times,” referring to living in these times of great change that are taking place right now and how much fun and frustrating it can be!

Specifically, she talks about how to choose the “right tools” to accomplish things. She wants to announce the PIMP MY BOOKCART contest to PALS Plus libraries and figures that right now, the best place/way to announce it is still using “1.0” methods, i.e., group e-mail. However, PALS Plus will be launching a “Fall Into 2.0″ program and perhaps by October, and most likely (hopefully!) by next June’s contest, there will be other, multiple ways that she can get the word out and be assured that everyone will see it.

I started thinking about this…. My first reaction is “put it out there in as many ways as possible” because I feel that this philosophy is what sort of underlies a lot of 2.0 stuff – make things accessible in many different ways in case some people access you in those ways. Make it easy and convenient for them to get it, in ways they like and use. In other words, be where they are, put it where they are.

So, that would mean, have it posted on a blog, with an RSS feed, AND send a mass e-mail, AND post it up in flyers for the pre-2.0 and barely-1.0 folk, put it up on facebook, etc., and make a flickr account with pictures, and, and, and …!?

BUT THAT got me thinking, oh my gosh – is putting stuff out in MULTIPLE forms creating MULTIPLE work for US!? Now, in some cases no. Once you have these things in place they sort of take care of themselves, meaning, if she posts it to the blog, it will have (most likely) an RSS feed and anyone subscribed will see it. Also, if she uses feedblitz and anyone is signed-up for that, they will get the e-mail notification. That still only requires ONE post. One post and many ways to be made aware of it. In fact, RSS takes care of a lot of things – anything you can do that has the feed makes it a one-stop-job. If she did put something on flickr, there’s a feed for that too, so now we have TWO places and still only TWO things to do, but resulting in several means of people being “told” about it.

No wonder people make the point that RSS IS 2.0 – it is the backbone of the whole thing!!!!!

The 2.0 forms actually really do and should cut down not only on the time and effort required by those who take advantage of them, but also for the creators…. Hanging up flyers and putting memos in individuals’ mailboxes at work – decidedly two pre-2.0 (even pre-1.0?) ways to do things – requries A LOT more time and effort to do than ANY of the 2.0 tools do, even if you choose more than one.

So, sorry, Claire, no answers here, except for my idea (and concern) that things should be put out there in as many ways possible – without overburdening the putter-outer.

And, I agree, eventually the “better” tools will last and the not-so-good or not-so-useful will naturally fall by the wayside. But, I think it will always be “interesting times,” and there will always be the next thing coming down the pike . . .

June 22, 2007 at 9:13 am

Support Emergency Legislation to Remove Municipal Libraries from the Levy Cap . . .

Go! Do it! NOW!

Support emergency legislation to remove municipal libraries from the levy cap . . . THERE IS A VOTE TOMORROW!

I just wanted to share the link to look up your legislator – it is EASY! You can look on the right side by alphabetical list, municipality, district, etc…

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp

You get your district and you click on that to see the people and contact info.

I JUST CALLED them – I have always e-mailed in these cases but today I CALLED because I had just been in one of the webinars on WebJunction for the Spanish Language Outreach Program with some people who talked about advocating.
PHONE CALLS ARE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE than e-mails!

It only took me about 5 minutes!
The people are nice!
They want these calls.

I identified myself as a librarian living and/or working in the district and asked for them to support the emergency legislation to remove municipal libraries from the levy cap. I said there is a vote tomorrow.

They already knew what I was talking about!
They took my name and seemed very interested to hear from me.

You either leave a message or talk to an assistant who takes the information.

REALLY – it took me less than five minute total for me to call three people!

PLEASE CALL!

Original message from Pat Tumulty:

CRITICAL UPDATE, MUNICIPAL CAP LEVY EXEMPTION.

We need your assistance right now to contact your NJ State Senators. Not tomorrow. Right now. Please ask your state senator to support emergency legislation which would allow an adjustment to levy cap calculations for local public library funding.When the new municipal cap levy legislation was passed this year, municipal libraries were included as part of the calculation for the levy cap.

This, unfortunately, created an inequity for the 245 communities which support municipal libraries. Communities which support county libraries have library expenditures excluded from the municipal levy because county libraries are funded by a dedicated tax and, therefore, outside the levy cap.

New Jersey League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Library Association and the NJ State Library have been working for a month on what we hoped would be a solution to this issue by adding language to state budget bill. Unfortunately, we were told last Friday, that this solution would not work and that we would need legislation. We must correct this inequity before July 1 because urban communities begin a new budget year on that date and would become subject to the levy cap. All other communities will be impacted with the budgets beginning on Jan. 1, 2008.

The Assembly, under the leadership of Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman, will consider emergency legislation to exempt municipal libraries from the cap legislation TOMORROW- Thursday, June 21.

We have every indication that there is support for this legislation.We are less certain of Senate approval, and we have learned that the Senate will cancel next week’s scheduled meetings and recess for the Summer. Therefore, it is imperative that this legislation pass tomorrow.

We must have this emergency legislation enacted in the Senate before the Legislature goes on summer break. Please contact your State Senator’s legislative office today and tell them you support emergency legislation to remove municipal libraries from the levy cap and that it must be enacted before summer recess.

Pat Tumulty, Executive Director
New Jersey Library Association
ptumulty@njla.org
609-394-8032

June 20, 2007 at 1:31 pm 2 comments

You Don’t Need Physical Proximity to Feel Close

I am sitting here at work in tears.

I have just seen and read about Michael‘s dear dog, Jake. I had been watching his decline through Michael’s posts on flickr and knowing that eventually this post would come. Then I read Karen Schneider’s perfect post about pets, and unconditional love and social networks, and I just have to share.

We really can be one large community.
I have only met Michael once in person, but I feel that I “know” him somewhat through the Internet – his posts on flickr and his blog, his generousness, intellect and humor that truly come across no matter what medium he uses to communicate. And, especially as a dog lover/owner I certainly could “know” his relationship with his dog, Jake, and feel such pain for him at this time. I wish there was something I could DO. But I am hoping that Michael and his family and his other dog, Charlie, can feel us all around him, even though we are not physically present with them, sharing their sadness and caring so much for them in these ways that we can – posts, emails, instant messages, etc..

The Internet can be an amazing thing. I wish I could tie this all together better somehow, and make some more profound point that I feel is here but just out of reach, but I feel too sad to do it right now. Anyway, Karen really said it best and said it all.

June 18, 2007 at 3:38 pm

Friday Fun: Your Road Trip Mix Tape

There are songs which help keep highway hypnosis at bay. The energy, the fun, the sing-along potential make them great for those long hours in the car, particularly if you are stuck in the chaos of Friday vacation traffic. Sometimes, in order to keep your sanity, it is important to have a collection of songs that will make the time fun, or at the very least, tolerable.

Here is my top 10 selection, go ahead and add your own.

On the Road Again by Willie Nelson- Mandatory, probably for any mix tape but especially this one.

The Way by Fastball- You wouldn’t think a song about packing your bags, leaving the kids behind and all responsibility behind could be so fun. ;)

Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues by Eels- It’s not the best lyrics that you’ll ever hear but it’s nearly impossible not to chime in when they sing “God damn right it’s a beautiful day!”

Crash by The Primitives- “Here you go, way too fast. Don’t look out you’re gonna craaaash.” Quite possibly the most energetic song to have sha-na-na in the lyrics.

Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chilipeppers- You need a downtime song on the mix tape… and I gotta go with this one.

Into the Great Wide Open by Tom Petty- Is there are song about bigger possibilities!?

I Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll All Night by Kiss- This is the last resort song. If this one can’t wake you up, pull over and get some sleep.

Song 2 by Blur- Whoohoo! ‘Nuff said

Basket Case by Green Day- “Do you have the time to listen to me whine…” Hey, I’ve got as long as this trip is gonna take.

Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana- I haven’t a clue what Cobain was saying but it doesn’t stop me from screaming “Hey… wait!”

June 15, 2007 at 9:20 am 5 comments

Not Attending ALA? Here’s an Alternative…

This is posted many places but I want to be sure that no one misses it!

Not able to attend ALA but still want to find out what’s going on in cutting edge technology and social software!? Well check out the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase…

From their page:

The Social Software Showcase is an online unconference occurring around and during the time of ALA Annual 2007.
On this wiki, you will find eleven wonderful presentations on cutting edge technology and social software by librarians and leaders in the field. Regardless of where you are in the world, you will have the opportunity to discuss the presentations here in this space.
We will also be having a face to face roundtable discussion with some of our presenters at ALA Annual in Washington D.C. on Saturday, June 23rd, from 1:30-2:30 in the Renaissance Mayflower Cabinet Room. If you are in D.C. please come and join us.
This wiki will be a work in progress as we iron out a few things, including the embedding of the presentations. But we’ll be ready and running before ALA! [end]

This is a revolutionary way of presenting information! Please do check it out.

The presenters include the VERY excellent:

Michael Casey – Library Crunch
Michael Porter, aka Library Man! – Library Man blog
Jessamyn West – Librarian.net blog
Karen Schneider – Free Range Librarian
Her post on this.
AND MORE!

You can read another excellent post on this for some more information on the Information Wants to Be Free blog here.

The Bigwig Social Software Showcase is here .

Check it out! :-)

Happy Weekend!

June 15, 2007 at 7:53 am

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