Archive for June, 2006

Dogmas Are Meant to be Broken: An Interview with Eric Reiss – Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design

A little Friday lunchtime reading… If you like the Dogma, follow the link and read the interview with Reiss. I’m going to be re-evaluating mpow’s website with these 10 points in mind.
From: Dogmas Are Meant to be Broken: An Interview with Eric Reiss – Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design:

“Web Dogma ‘06”

1. Anything that exists only to satisfy the internal politics of the site owner must be eliminated.
2. Anything that exists only to satisfy the ego of the designer must be eliminated.
3. Anything that is irrelevant within the context of the page must be eliminated.
4. Any feature or technique that reduces the visitor’s ability to navigate freely must be reworked or eliminated.
5. Any interactive object that forces the visitor to guess its meaning must be reworked or eliminated.
6. No software, apart from the browser itself, must be required to get the site to work correctly.
7. Content must be readable first, printable second, downloadable third.
8. Usability must never be sacrificed for the sake of a style guide.
9. No visitor must be forced to register or surrender personal data unless the site owner is unable to provide a service or complete a transaction without it.
10. Break any of these rules sooner than do anything outright barbarous. “


June 30, 2006 at 11:13 am 5 comments

Congratulations Tulane University Libraries — The New Bookcart Drill Team World Champions!

I decided to take a short break and watch the Bookcart Drill Team World Championship today at the conference. The audience was large and the bookcart teams in attendance had lots of spirit. Last year there were 15 teams competing and this year the competition was considerably smaller with only 4 teams, but each team gave it their all and entertained the crowd with unique routines.

The team from Tulane (“Booked on New Orleans”) was the clear crowd favorite and earned a standing ovation after their performance that inspired everyone to clap along as they performed. They edged out the fabulous pink-wigged “Book Divas” from Houston to take the title. The Tulane team was formed a mere 6 weeks ago and had never performed before in public. They had a team motto of “We Just Don’t Care” and it was great to see a group of academic librarians get out there and truly strut their stuff to a medly of New Orleans jazz tunes. They had pizzazz, showmanship and pretty good precision too. The fact that they practiced in the moldy basement of their previously flooded library in order to partipcate truly demonstrates the spirit of New Orleans –way to go Tulane!

June 25, 2006 at 2:43 pm

Bloggers meet Gulf Coast Librarians

Short summary for now — full details including photos (lots of them) to be posted later. Leslie and Alan hosted a marvelous event that brought together 50+ bloggers as well as more than a dozen librarians from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Besides the food, fun, laughter and networking that occured, it was a chance for those in the biblioblogosphere to hear first hand about what the libraries in this region still need to get back on their feet.

The message was this: At this point they have no more room or ability to store donated books and used book drives are not going to get them where they need to go at this point. What they need is money to rebuild, rewire, purchase equipment, get the books out of storage and on to shelves so that they can begin to offer a full-range of services again. They are so appreciative of all that has been done to help rebuild, but they still have a long way to go and the real tragedy here is the lack of cold hard cash from a federal level to get back on their feet. Get this message out to your colleagues, your local press and to anyone else who might be able to help.

It was great to meet so many new people last night and I am already anticipating the next big blogger gathering — wherever that may be.

June 25, 2006 at 11:12 am 1 comment

New Orleans — Report #1 from JanieH

Welcome to New Orleans
I arrived in New Orleans late yesterday afternoon after a full 10 hours of travel. I could not get a direct flight at a reasonable price, so I flew from Philadelphia to Chicago and finally to New Orleans. My 90 minutes in Chicago was spent running from one end of the airport to the other as they changed gates for the oversold flight 3 times. It was great to arrive in the Big Easy and be greeted by an awesome Dixie band — it made all the hassle worthwhile and lifted my spirits.

The shuttle from the airport was very effecient. As we drove in to downtown New Orleans it was surprising to see the disparity between the few areas that were not affected as badly and/or have already been repaired and the majority of the city which still hase a long way to go before normalcy can resume. I felt awe and gratitude for those that have remained and are doing all they can to rebuild. I felt proud to be here and helping out (even if only in a small way when the scope of the situation is considered). I have always been proud to be a librarian, this week I feel just a little bit prouder.

Meet me at The Junction Janie and
I went immediately to the WebJunction member reception. I have been a WJ member for 3 years and have been a moderator on the Community Forums and a WJ Adovcate for almost the entire time. It was a wonderful reception — I got to catch up briefly with Chrystie Hill (we presented together at Internet Librarian in Monterey a few years back), meet Patrick Hogan of ALA Editions (I am going to be on the editorial board for the next few two years) and also have an insightful conversation with Walt. Oh, and I also got “George Needham’d”, but this was with the cardboard version and not the live version like Pete! If you are not yet a member of WebJunction, check it out when you have a moment. The community forums is where you will find me — posting under JanieH!

I am currently doing the exhibits and then have several events with CLENE that will keep me busy for the rest of the day. I am posting this from the Internet Cafe at the convention center because the wireless connection from my room at the Hilton does not seem to work PLUS it is expensive (hotels without free wireless are not acceptable, IMHO). I will post when I can get a connection.

June 24, 2006 at 10:49 am


Lifehacker (which is a great site to check out!) just posted this:

The Wall Street Journal’s college edition advises graduates to Google
themselves and clean up their trail of Facebook, MySpace digital dirt before
they hit the pavement looking for a job:

According to a 2005 survey of 102 executive recruiters by ExecuNet, an executive job-search and networking
organization, 75% of recruiters use search engines to uncover information about
candidates, and 26% of recruiters have eliminated candidates because of
information found online.

What I like about this article is that it
doesn’t take the “stay off the Internet!” tact – it actually suggests starting
your own blog or site to seed Google with what you want it to say about you.
Great idea! See also: Have a say in what Google says about you. — Gina Trapani How to Clean Up Your Digital Dirt [College Journal via College v2] — Gina Trapani

June 24, 2006 at 8:31 am 1 comment

Pix from New Orleans

Arrived in New Orleans last night. Had a delicious fried catfish and my wife had an equally yummy chicken marsala. Long wait (I think the restaurant was understaffed) but the food was worth it!

This morning we headed straight to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets. I’m still buzzing…

On our way to the the OCLC Symposium, “ Preserving Library Core Value and Envisioning the Future “. I’m especially looking forward to hearing Stacey Aldrich, Assistant Director of the Omaha Public Library System. Her presentations on scenario building and future thinking are always thought-provoking. And OCLC has hit homeruns with their last few symposia (Long Tail, Extreme Makeover), so I’m pretty primed for this one!

June 23, 2006 at 11:46 am 1 comment

Cool! Summer Reading Program to Include Adults!

Cool! The Parsippany libraries will be including adults in their summer reading program – with prizes!!!

I think this is great for two reasons:

1) They are including adults because, “…if more parents read, more kids will, too…” (see full article in today’s Morris Ledger here .)


2) They are using their website as a 24/7 branch for this program:

In previous years, we heard that with kids in camp all day (parents) can’t get them here for programs because they don’t have a lot of spare time and we appreciate that,” Beline (the library director) said. “Now, it’s true, we’re open 24-7.Article here.

This is so great and is a great example of the library meeting the needs of
its patrons. You can’t make it in during the summer days? We’ll put part of
our summer reading program on our website and open it up to adults to
encourage more participation all around! Great!

The prizes for adults include themed gift baskets. For example: the Italy basket has pasta, sauces and cookbooks; the beach basket has towels, flipflops, books, etc… I know I sure would love to win one of those!

I also love that they got such a nice write-up in their newspaper.

AND the “librarians are wearing ‘Have you joined the club?’ T- shirts”! COOL indeed!

June 23, 2006 at 10:08 am

ALA Blogger’s Bash

Just making sure that all who want to know are “in the know” about the final details.

It looks like this looks like it will be a huge event with 50+ bloggers in attendance plus the Gulf Coast Librarians and I am sure a few others. Trust me when I say that Leslie knows how to host a good party and this is sure to be a fun event.

Here are the details:

When: Saturday June 24th

Time: After the Scholarship Bash (10:30-ish to Midnight)

Where: Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel, Bienville Suite (27th floor)
2 Poydras Street, New Orleans

I am lookinig forward to seeing everyone in New Orleans [and to paying a visit to Aunt Sally for a good praline fix !]

June 21, 2006 at 10:30 pm 2 comments

Just a link

I know that somewhere inside of me there is lots of insightful commentary and important connections to be drawn to libraries from the BusinessWeek article Web 2.0 Has Corporate America Spinning. I have had intentions to blog about it for over 2 weeks, but the pressures of wiki creation, personal life “stuff”, and preparing for ALA in New Orleans adds up to me having no time to wax philosophical — I can’t even come up with a creative title for this post at this point.

In any event, a few good quotes from the article for those that are equally busy and don’t have time to read it all (although you really should). Try inserting the word library every time you see business or brand to get your brain in gear about the underlying message:

“For all its appeal to the young and the wired, Web 2.0 may end up making its greatest impact in business … It’s the biggest change in the organization of the corporation in a century.”

“…the notions behind Web 2.0 clearly hold great potential for businesses — and peril for those that ignore them.”

“It’s also critical for executives to try out these services themselves: Create a MySpace page. Open a Flickr account and upload a few photos. Write a Wikipedia entry. Create a mashup at “The essence of Web 2.0 is experimentation, so they should try things out,”

“”In the end, the brand is owned not just by the people who create it, but by the people who use it.”

and finally:

“Web 2.0’s essential appeal is empowerment…”

Okay, now I must get back to painstaking task of cobbling together my conference schedule for New Orleans. I have great hopes that by next year at this time ALA will have a proper online conference planner now that they have hired Jenny Levine!

June 21, 2006 at 9:49 am

A Realtor By Any Other Name…..

What do Realtors and Librarians have in common?

A lot I think, and I think we need to have more!

Have you noticed those commecials on the radio for Realtors? You might not have, but after you read this, listen for them. Once you notice them, you’ll always hear them.

I have been noticing them for awhile now. They seem to come the AM news stations which I tend to listen to on my way to and from work, or on lunch.

They are commercials basically explaining why you should get a “real” Realtor instead of buying/selling your home for yourself, or through a Real Estate Agent.

Sound familiar yet!?

Where did these ads come from all of a sudden? Why do the Realtors needs ads?
Well, I think that Realtors must have looked around and noticed they have some competition!

  • People buying/selling their homes on their own, or
  • People using YHD or some other service which maybe doesn’t employ “real” realtors, I’m not sure what the deal is with YHD, but “YHD employs a network of specialists — including lawyers and home inspectors — who handle many home-buying steps. It even has an in-house finance arm. ” from Business Week Online.
  • People using Real Estate Agents or other people or just the Internet

They must have decided that they need to educate and to market to their customers why one should choose a “real,” licensed Realtor, rather than anyone/anything else! They must have been losing business!

Sound familiar now!?

WE have competition! WE will lose business!
Who is our competition as libraries and librarians!?
They’ve been around for awhile now and we haven’t really done a good job of speaking up against them.

Our competitors are:

  • Bookstores
  • The Internet
  • Those who think they can “do it on their own” without the help of a “real,” licensed professional librarian
  • Local governments who think that putting an encyclopedia in every home can replace us

So, how do the ads for Relators help them?

The ads for the realtors mention the National Associaton of Realtors, and say you should check it out to find one in your area before you buy or sell real estate.

Check out their “When is a real estate agent a Realtor?” page:

“When is a Real Estate Agent a REALTOR®?The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.” (emphasis mine)

I am by no means suggesting that we go about attacking the sources of competition – the commercials don’t do that at all. They simply point out that things will be much more difficult and complicated if you don’t use a “real” Realtor.

The ads and the website seek to educate the consumer about the differences between a Real Estate Agent and a Realtor. They point up the benefits of using a “real” Realtor. The ads have “real” people sharing “real” stories in which they learn that next time, they’ll use a “real” Realtor!

I have a personal belief that commercials such as these infiltrate the brain and stay there, subconsiously. A listener may not realize they heard this commercial. Until it comes time to deal with real estate. Maybe, just maybe, they will then have this feeling that they need to use a “real” Realtor.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could give our consumers that same feeling when they are considering whether to use the Internet, a bookstore, a friend, or don’t even know what to consult, when they have an information need? The feeling/belief that they need a library and/or librarian!

June 19, 2006 at 5:01 pm 2 comments

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