IL2009: Connecting Through "Lights, Cameras & Action"


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Speaker: Sean Robinson

Stories are essentially a contract between the author and the listener, and filmmaking is about storytelling. Before you start filming, have a story in mind, whether it’s a PSA or something more involved. Stories have beginnings, middles, and endings. You have three choices: comedy, tragedy, or drama — pick one or combine them.

Vade Mecum (take a book with you) was shot on a Canon PowerShot A570. 6,000 photos were shot and edited together with a soundtrack. You can do that with the stories you want to share.

Speakers: Michael Porter & David Lee King

Over 600 images were submitted from about 400 people. There are already over 1700 fans of the Facebook page.

The video looks really cool. I need to watch it again to read the words ’cause I was so focused on seeing all the photos. Go check out the website at Libraryman.com and watch it yourself. The point is, they think there are 101 resources and things that librarians should know. Add to it!

IL2009: Technology: The Engine Driving Pop Culture-Savvy Libraries or Source of Overload?


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Speaker: Elizabeth Burns

Technology and pop culture drive each other. Librarians sometimes assume that people using technology like smart phones in libraries are wasting time, both theirs and ours, but we really don’t know how they are using tech. Librarians need to learn how to use the tech that their user community employs, so don’t hinder your staff by limiting what tech they can use while in the workplace.

Libraries also have the responsibility to inform users of the services and technology available to them. Get the tools, learn how to use them, and then get to work building things with them.

Your library’s tech trendspotting group needs more than just the techie people. Get the folks who aren’t as excited about the shiny to participate and ask questions. Don’t let the fear of Betamax stop you – explore new devices and delivery methods now rather than waiting to find out if they have longevity. You never know what’s going to stick.

Speaker: Sarah Houghton-Jan

"Information overload is the Devil"

Some people think that it didn’t exist before mobile phones and home computers, but the potential has always existed. Think about the piles of books you’ve acquired but haven’t read yet. Information overload is all of the piles of things you want to learn but haven’t yet.

"We have become far more proficient in generating information than we are in managing it…"

Librarians are more equipped to handle information overload than most others. Manage your personal information consumption with the same kind of tools and skills you use in your professional life.

Some of the barriers to dealing with information overload are: lack of time or (a perceived lack of time), lack of interest or motivation, not being encouraged/threatened by management, not knowing where to start, and frustration with past attempts. Become like the automatic towel dispensers that have the towels already dispensed and ready to be torn off as needed.

Inventory your inputs and devices. Think before you send/subscribe. Schedule yourself, including unscheduled work and tasks. Use downtime (bring tech that helps you do it). Stay neat. Keep a master waiting list of things that other people "owe" you, and then periodically follow-up on them. Weed, weed, and weed again. Teach others communication etiquette (and stick to it). Schedule unplugged times, and unplug at will.

RSS/Twitter overload: Limit your feeds and following, and regularly evaluate them. Use lists to organize feeds and Twitter friends. Use RSS when applicable, and use it to send you reminders.

Interruptive technology (phone, IM, texts, Twitter, etc): Use them only when they are appropriate for you. Check it when you want to, and don’t interrupt yourself. Use your status message. Lobby for IM or Twitter at your workplace (as an alternative to phone or email, for the status message function & immediacy). Keep your phone number private. Let it ring if you are busy. Remember that work is at work and home is at home, and don’t mix the two.

Email: Stop "doing email" — start scheduling email scanning time, use it when appropriate, and deal with it by subject. Keep your inbox nearly empty and filter your messages. Limit listservs. Follow good email etiquette. Delete and archive, and keep work and personal email separate.

Physical items: Just because you can touch it, doesn’t mean you should keep it. Cancel, cancel, cancel (catalogchoice.org). Weed what you have.

Multimedia: Choose entertainment thoughtfully. Limit television viewing and schedule your entertainment time. Use your commute to your benefit.

Social networking: Schedule time on your networks. Pick a primary network and point other sites towards it. Limit your in-network IM.

Time & stress management: Use your calendar. Take breaks. Eliminate stressful interruptions. Look for software help. Balance your life and work to your own liking, not your boss’s or your spouse’s.

[Read Lifehacker!]

IL2009: Mashups for Library Data


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Speakers: Nicole Engard

Mashups are easy ways to provide better services for our patrons. They add value to our websites and catalogs. They promote our services in the places our patrons frequent. And, it’s a learning experience.

We need to ask our vendors for APIs. We’re putting data into our systems, so we should be able to get it out. Take that data and mash it up with popular web services using RSS feeds.

Yahoo Pipes allows you to pull in many sources of data and mix it up to create something new with a clean, flow chart like interface. Don’t give up after your first try. Jody Fagan wrote an article in Computers in Libraries that inspired Engard to go back and try again.

Reading Radar takes the NYT Bestseller lists and merges it with data from Amazon to display more than just sales information (ratings, summaries, etc.). You could do that, but instead of having users go buy the book, link it to your library catalog. The New York Times has opened up a tremendous amount of content via APIs.

Bike Tours in CA is a mashup of Google Maps and ride data. Trulia, Zillow, and HousingMaps use a variety of sources to map real estate information. This We Know pulls in all sorts of government data about a location. Find more mashups at ProgrammableWeb.

What mashups should libraries be doing? First off, if you have multiple branches, create a Google Maps mashup of library locations. Share images of your collection on Flickr and pull that into your website (see Access Ceramics), letting Flickr do the heavy lifting of resizing the images and pulling content out via machine tags. Delicious provides many options for creating dynamically updating lists with code snippets to embed them in your website.

OPAC mashups require APIs, preferably those that can generate JavaScript, and finally you’ll need a programmer if you can’t get the information out in a way you can easily use it. LexisNexis Academic, WorldCat, and LibraryThing all have APIs you can use.

Ideas from Librarians: Mashup travel data from circulation data and various travel sources to provide better patron services. Grab MARC location data to plot information on a map. Pull data about media collection and combine it with IMDB and other resources. Subject RSS feeds from all resources for current articles (could do that already with a collection of journals with RSS feeds and Yahoo Pipes).

Links and more at her book website.

IL2009: Growing & Grown-Up Digital: Next-Gen Speaks


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Facilitator: Stephen Abram
Panel: two high-school students, a college student, and the teen services librarian from the local public library

Abrams has asked that folks blogging or tweeting to not use the name of the teen participants, as some are under-age and we should act responsibly when creating a digital trail for them.

First question is about music. The college student likes classical, one high school student still likes vinyl and cassette tapes (no iPod), and the other puts music on her USB stick to take with her (along with her iPod). The college student started with illegal downloads, but gained a respect for the musicians, so now he buys music via iTunes. The iPod-weilding high school student has an iTunes account that she uses sometimes, but mostly shares music with friends. The vinyl student buys the physical medium rather than making copies.

What’s in your bag? Surprisingly, two of them carry USB sticks, which I almost never see with the college students at my library.

Is brand important? Yes, if it’s indicative of the quality, which is more important. (Ugg boots and short-shorts = "the Escaho")

How do you use your phone? Keep in contact with family and friends around the world, mostly via text. One high school student uses her phone mainly to take photos and videos.

"Facebook, Myspace, and phone are good places to keep in touch with people, but Twitter is kind of dead." Ouch — I guess it’s all about where your community exists.

Do you create content? The college student writes music and records it, but hasn’t posted it yet.

Do you expect the same or better standard of living than your parents? Everything seems better/easier now. If we use it the right way, everything will be exponentially easier. There are more options available now for careers, and the internet has opened doors of awareness of what could be. Technology is almost overly-available to us, which can be distracting.

Homework? The college student uses voice recognition software to "write" his papers. He uses Google for most research, but will get a book from the library for "older" material. One high school student uses "homework help now" service from the library for online tutoring. The analog high school student avoids the computer and it’s distractions when doing homework. She also uses interlibrary loan & federated search engines, but doesn’t know them by those names. ("It’s like a bajillion Googles, but for information.")

How do you evaluate information? One tries to find other sources to back up the info. Another starts with using library/school authoritative sources. And the other uses the search limiting tools like peer-review only searches, although, again, she doesn’t know it by that name. She also likes to us Opposing Viewpoints.

Wikipedia? Good for big, broad topics, according to some teachers, but others limit information sources to the textbook only. Some teachers recognize that students use it for overviews of topics, but it’s not good to cite it in a paper.

Are online sources good for finding information about things that you would be uncomfortable to talk about with your parents? It’s easier to talk about things with someone you don’t know. Or go to friends first and then verify with online info. "It’s must be true, it’s on the internet!" isn’t true. There are safe, anonymous places around town where people can talk to each other face-to-face.

Video games? The college student doesn’t play, but his friends do. Neither high school student plays, although they did when they were younger (Nintendo 64, Tekken).

Read online? No, it hurts the eyes after a while, and there are too many other distractions online, too. It’s hard to take notes and highlight online books.

Republican, Democrat, or Independent? They seem to all be the same anymore. There aren’t distinctions. We need to review our system and do a CTRL-ALT-DEL reboot. They are concerned with the impact of the meat industry and oil consumption on the environment, as well as the unequal distribution of wealth around the world.

Teen librarian: There are too many groups of teens with too many interests to connect with all of them, so the focus has been to try to provide a space in the library that they can create for themselves.

How do we overcome the emerging prejudices towards Millenials? The Pew research shows that Millenials and Boomers have a huge overlap in interests and activities. We need to stop thinking of them so much as something strange and different.

IL2009: Mobile Content Delivery in the Enterprise


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Speakers: Britt Mueller

Often, there are more librarians who’s organizations loan ebook readers to their users than who own or use ebook readers themselves. Devices are driving all of the changes in the content, and we need to pay attention to that.

General Mills launched their ebook reader lending program in the fall of 2008 with six Kindles pre-loaded with content and attached to a purchasing card registered with each device. They’ve had over 120 loans over the past year with a wait list (two week loan periods).

Qualcomm launched a similar program at around the same time, but they went with four types of ereaders: Kindle, Sony 505, Bookeen Cybook, and Irex Iliad). They’ve had over 500 loans over the past year with a wait list, and they’ve updated the devices with the newer models as they were released.

One of the down sides to the devices is that there is no enterprise model. Users have to go through the vendor to get content, rather than getting the content directly from the library. Users liked the devices but wanted them to be as customized to their individual preferences and yet still shareable, much like borrowing other devices like laptops and netbooks from the library.

There is a uniform concern among publishers and vendors for how to track/control usage in order to pay royalties, which makes untethering the content problematic. There is a lack of standardization in format, which makes converting content to display on a wide range of devices problematic as well. And finally, the biggest stumbling block for libraries is a lack of an enterprise model for acquiring and sharing content on these devices.

Implications for the future: integration into the ILS, staff time to manage the program, cost, and eventually, moving away from lending devices and moving towards lending the content.