Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More screen time

A new study measured screen time and found all of us are on about 8 hours a day, unless you're in the magic aged 45 to 54 bracket, and then you enjoy more screen time than any of the rest of us--excluding our young friends under the age of 18.

I find this number actually lower than I would expect. What do you think?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Have you *ever* visited WebJunction?

If yes, please take a moment to tell us about it. All you have to do is complete this short survey about your experiences with our service and about your current concerns and interests in Libraryland. Good? Bad? Meh? We want to hear it all.

We report all the results back to the field (on our site), but the open-ended responses to the field-based questions never fail to provide me with new insights on what we're thinking and doing (in aggregate).

Many thanks in advance to over 1000 of you who have already sent in your responses.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Scholarships for Library Support Staff Institute

Michael Bradshaw at the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute (OLSSI) tells me that in recognition of the sorry state of library budgets these days (especially in the travel and continuing education lines), the group is offering three full scholarships to attend the 2009 Institute, to be held August 2 through 4 at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

The application form is here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sony E-Book Reader Adds Free Content...from Google

Users of the Sony E-Book reader will now have fast access to about 500,000 public domain titles via Google's Book project. The news release details the simple process Sony and Google have developed to provide this access. All of a sudden, Sony can leapfrog the total number of Amazon's Kindle offerings. They had about 100,000 titles before this announcement, now they move to 600,000. Amazon offers just under 250,000 titles via the Kindle store.

Many free titles are also available for the Kindle, but speaking as a Kindle user, I know these are not easy to access.

The implications for libraries are obvious. What is our mission in a world where e-content is widely available for free? And what happens when Google starts making instant paid access to their copyright-protected materials available, not only to e-book readers but to anyone with a computer or a mobile device?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New WorldCat keyword widget

Released this weekend, the WorldCat keyword widget is pretty darn cool. You'll have to scroll down, though, to see it on our antiquated page layout (if you still read on the big screen, rather than your aggregator). Perhaps (sigh) it is time for some actual design skills to help us out here at IAG. I am feeling the need for some visual freshening. Or perhaps it's just spring fever.

Our original intent in keeping It's All Good in its current polkadotted fashion was to encourage everyone in libraries or library school who, like us, had limited design skills, attention spans and hours in the workday to devote to blogging to consider its merits and see how easy it was. "See," we said, "See how we're using it in the totally out-of-the-box, you don't need special tools way." But by now that ship has sailed...

But back to the WorldCat Keyword search widget. Designed especially for content pages or blogs that are relatively narrow in scope, you can build a refined keyword search right into the widget...and then of course you can also change it and get results right in the cute box. Play around with it and see what you think. Better yet, put it on a couple of blogs/pages and see what your users think.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Google Voice coming soon

Just read the New York Times write up on GrandCentral ("One Number to Ring them All", and meandered over to the site to see just how cool it is.

Impact for libraries?

Upside: You'll have a better chance of actually reaching people, to prompt returns, ILL requests available, things like this. Free conference calls mean you may be able to save some telecom expenses, possibly.

Downside: Local users may not have local phone numbers.

Other thoughts?

The big picture, as I see it: Innovation, helped along by Google, is not limited strictly to libraries. Now the phone company (along with the media, news and advertising industries) is getting in on the action. Hey, suddenly being in the library field makes us look as cutting-edge as we feel somedays. We've already experienced the Googlization learning curve and are on the optimistic upswing from it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Record your WorldCat story

I've been working on a sort of "StoryCorps" project for WorldCat and library cooperation--except it's video. It's really simple. All you do is record a quick blip about Why You Love WorldCat.org, and upload it to YouTube to join the growing collection.

We're inviting everyone to record their "WorldCat stories" in video form. It can be a simple as telling the world why you love a specific WorldCat.org feature (10 seconds), or as involved as relating the time when someone you knew absolutely couldn't find the Ukrainian resource she desperately needed, until a library staff member suggested WorldCat and she found the actual digitized art object itself. (2 minutes or, as long as you like).

If you're headed to the ACRL conference, we even have a videographer lined up to do the video taping for you. It will be at the OCLC hospitality suite at the Seattle Sheraton, room 3102 from 1-4 pm.

If you're at SXSW Interactive, lucky you! Record yourself in the midst of all the fun.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Library coverage in US News and World Report

The latest post over at the Professor's Guide blog on US News and World Report features 10 Tips on Getting the Most Out of your Library. Geared for high school/college students and their parents, it is something you can point to for incoming 1st year/freshmen, etc.

Plus it's written by yours truly! (So true confessions it mentions WorldCat.org by name...but it is meant to promote Libraries in General.)