Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Library Building on Wired Campus

The Chronicle's Wired Campus blog has an audio feature on the library building as part of their Tech Therapy segment.

Interesting, as one of my predictions from 2006 of what would extend the library brand too far--that is, treadmills in the library--has now apparently been envisioned for Goucher College.

I love to admit I was wrong about the future. Me, I have to underline things in order to read them intensively. But college students today are probably much less hung up about such things. Flexibility in thought, schedule and outlook on life reigns supreme these days.

Or maybe I just like their restaurant name so much, I am willing to concede that some people would be able to read Descartes on a treadmill.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Award for Underground Railroad Bicycle Route

Allow me to brag for my friends at Adventure Cycling. Their Underground Railroad Bicycle Route has won the American Trails Partnership Award for its combination of cycling, minority health improvement, and outreach.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cheerleaders and Librarians

I attended the California Library Association conference in San Jose this past weekend. Sharing the convention center was a competition of cheer squads. These are cheerleaders who don't cheer for a specific team, school, or sport, but rather compete on the basis of their own athleticism, coordination, and style.

It occurred to me that libraries should both have cheerleaders (because of the importance and the necessity of the work done) and be cheerleaders (to show the rest of the world how excited we are about what we do).

One of the findings of the recent OCLC report From Awareness to Funding was the importance of passionate librarians in making the case for libraries. What could be more passionate than a champion cheerleader?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Libraries make the Huffington Post

Think what you will about the Huffington Post, and there was some positioning against Google that wasn't quite what one might have hoped for in the best of worlds: "Librarians attempt to Outsmart Google"...but still. Librarians made mainstream blogland.

It's all about the new project to help develop a new Web search experience based on expertise from librarians called Reference Extract. Short of sounding like a spice rack essential in a Hogwarts kitchen, it sounds like a very cool idea and look forward to seeing more.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Focus on Tough Economic Times

WebJunction will host three webinars next month on how to deal with tough economic times. Registration is free; we avoided the obvious irony of charging for a webinar on having no money!

The programs are scheduled for:
If you can't participate at any of these times, the programs will be archived.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What about Cooperative Effects?

By Arthur Smith
Every time I glance at my RSS feeds I'm up over my boots in discussions about network effects. The example people give is the original Bell telephone concept (1908) that more telephones make each telephone more valuable. The positive effects of more telephones, eventually extend to people who don't own telephones. That is, networks create effects for those who don't directly contribute to the networks themselves. WorldCat.org affects every non-network child who listens to a book read by the librarian who found the book on WorldCat.

Working outside the USA, I'm often reminded of how our members, quite independently of OCLC itself, have the potential to extend the benefits of the cooperative resources to non-member librarians. Often, in fact, to people who may never have heard of OCLC.

Recently David Hirsch, Librarian for Middle Eastern Studies at UCLA, was a guest lecturer in Dakar. David's subject was not OCLC, but, more generically. cataloging, ILL, reference, etc. However, David chose Connexion and WorldCat.org as the platforms for his discussions, to give the librarians in Dakar their first introduction to OCLC.

William Kopycki, Middle East Studies Bibliographer at the University of Pennsylvania, was recently asked to teach courses in Armenia about WorldCat services. This was something the Armenian librarians had been introduced to through their participation in a consortium of multinational libraries called AMICAL. William also "taught OCLC" as part of the IFLA Meetings of Experts on an International Cataloging Code (IME ICC) in Cairo.

Thanks goes out once again to OCLC members who continue to generate positive network effects for the extended global community of libraries and library users.

Heading off to Hackathon

Hey everyone. I've been "head-down" the past few weeks, as we've come to say in our group. I've learned how to host Webinars--or at least I can say that I've wrestled with WebEx with the best of them.

Anyway, before I zip off to the very first WorldCat Hackathon in New York tomorrow (I'm so excited!!), I wanted to introduce a guest post from a fellow OCLC staffer, Arthur Smith. Arthur is the Director for Strategic Business Development in the Middle East and India. He keeps us on our toes and always has great insight into things, it seems to me. He sent a photo last week that I immediately wanted to share with you, because it speaks volumes about the incredible work that librarians do on a daily basis all over the world...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vision of Students Today, Redux

Several months ago, I posted a link to a remarkable YouTube video by Michael Wasch titled, "A Vision of Students Today." Mr. Wasch, a lecturer at Kansas State University, has published a remarkably candid update of the post, not as a video, but as an essay on Brittannica.com. There's an interesting review of the video and the essay on OpenEducation.net.

Along the same lines, there's an update of a classic presentation by Karl Fisch called "Did You Know / Shift Happens," which should be required viewing for all of the men and women who are clamoring for our votes today. In just six minutes, your view of the world can get much more expansive! The funny thing is, I'm not entirely sure who did the latest remix of the presentation. It was licensed under Creative Commons and there are a number of versions floating around out there. Hmmm...maybe that's one of Mr. Fisch's points!

Monday, November 03, 2008

"Why Public Libraries Close" Webinar

In September, WebJunction published Dr. Christie Koontz's paper, "Why Public Libraries Close," based on research she and her co-authors, Dean K. Jue and Bradley Wade Bishop, had presented at the ALA conference this summer. The publication sparked a flurry of discussion, including considerable critique of the thesis and research methods used in the paper.

On November 13, at 2:00 pm Eastern time, WebJunction will present a free webinar with Dr. Koontz on her research and this paper. Find out more about this important topic, and get the details directly from the researcher!