March 31, 2008

Super Sized National Library Week Video

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 11:20 am

The National Library Week videos keep coming. Track them at AL Focus.

Super Sized

March 28, 2008

Tune in at the Library

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 5:49 am

Recently Sarah Houghton-Jan highlighted an issue that I’ve been thinking a lot about myself lately as I’ve noticed changes in my own tv-watching behavior. She highlighted a software program called AnyTV for watching television shows (and other multimedia) on your computer and wondered what opportunities programs like these might provide for libraries. While it’s not the first such application, this type of service has really taken off during the last year, and there are now more ways and places to watch television than ever before. On websites, on cell phones, on portable players – they’re multiplying like rabbits. Watching tv shows in real-time on an actual television may be down, but my sense is that it has shifted to other mediums and become a niche market. To name just a few ways I watch tv:

All of these services require you to be connected to the internet in order to stream the video, but there’s also BitTorrent, NetFlix, iTunes, Tivo to Go, and libraries for taking shows with you on the go. I worry a lot less these days about recording shows I’m interested in since I can usually catch up with them at some point, often on the web. Some of these sites require a download (Joost), others don’t (Fancast). Amazon, iTunes, NetFlix, and MovieLink all offer movies-on-demand services that let you purchase and watch a film immediately on your computer. They generally require a separate software program to view them, but how long will it really be before there’s a Hulu-like movie site that plays in your browser?
All of which is to point out that viewing habits are changing, and that the current debate about bandwidth issues and filtering of social networking sites is just a prelude to the coming controversy about watching longer-form video on library computers. Expect to see this soon, as more and more people start using our computers to watch whole shows, movies (Hulu offers several free ones), and live events.
It’s also going to re-ignite the debate about judging content consumed by our patrons. It’s easy enough to say we don’t have the bandwidth (sadly, that’s usually true in the U.S.), but it’s more difficult when you base policy on judgment calls that some uses of a format are okay while others are not. Kind of like when we impose our personal preferences that Literature is better than trashy romance novels. Is it really the librarian’s call that I should not be using my library’s computers to watch that episode of “Lost” I missed last week? What if I’m watching PBS’ “The War” – is it okay then?
watching the KU game on the internet And what about someone like me who is a huge Kansas Jayhawks fan, who just wants to watch her team in the big dance? CBS didn’t show my game last weekend, but I was able to log in to the free NCAA Sports site on my laptop, hook it up to the TV, and still watch it. I usually miss Big 12 games because I live in Big 10 country, but now the internet is finally leveling that playing field. I still had to watch the ads, but I’m more willing to do that during a live event online. If I didn’t have broadband internet at home, though, would it have been acceptable for me to bring my own headphones and watch it at my library? Heading into a possible recession when it’s quite possible that people will be cutting costs by canceling cable subscriptions, it’s an interesting question to ponder.
If you think the YouTube, social networking, and web-based gaming debate is growing now, just wait until the general public realizes they can watch television online, too. As Sarah says at the end of her post, “I know I am opening a can of huge worms…[but] this seems like a very cool addition to me.” I’ll agree with her and hope this country gets its act together and starts installing fiber connections the way it should be. In the meantime, though, it’s helpful to recognize that this is something that is going to start happening at your library, and your staff should probably talk about it in a “here’s a heads-up” kind of way so that you’re prepared.

March 27, 2008

"You Made Me the Best Muxtape I Have"

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 7:50 pm

The Muxtape site is currently all the rage, and of course the librarians are at the forefront. Exhibit A: Library muxtape by Jessamyn West. Find lots of muxtapes (online mix tapes that don’t require any plugins or downloads) to listen to on the site’s home page or on the Muxtape Wiki. It’s a great way to hear some new music, especially when it’s posted by someone you know.
Hat tip to Aaron for first twittering about the site and then having some fun with it (hurry and check it out before he changes the audio selections!).
Addendum: Check out Mixwit, too, which has a fancier interface and some extra features. [via the lo-fi librarian]

Creating Your Library Wishlist

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 1:05 pm

Jon Udell (non-librarian of LibraryLookup fame) continues to provide services for library patrons that libraries and their vendors don’t. We can debate whose role it is to provide this, but I wish my home library would adapt this and make it work for me. Speaking from the patron side of things, these kinds of lightweight solutions that do the work for me fit into the way I live and work.
LibraryLookup by Email!

This page offers an email-based version of the popular LibraryLookup service. It will alert you when a book on your Amazon wishlist becomes available in one of the Keene libraries.
If you want to try this with your own Amazon wishlist, you’ll need your own wishlist code. To find it, sign in to Amazon and follow these steps….

Lucky Keene Library patrons….
Sorry, Jon – had to out you. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. 😉

March 25, 2008

More Positive Press about Gaming in Libraries

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 7:58 pm
  • Inland Libraries Bringing in Video Games as Part of Teen Offerings

    “At the Fontana Branch Library, teen librarian Mike Jimenez formed a video game club that draws up to 50 players every Thursday. A new, soon-to-open library will host gaming tournaments run on a 26-computer network in the teen area, he said.
    Alicia Doktor, who is in charge of the teen services at Riverside Public Library, said the comic book-formatted graphic novels are strategically placed under the plasma screen to lure prospective readers. ‘Most of the time they’ll check out a book,’ she said.
    Rosas, a senior at Riverside’s North High, drives downtown to the library every day after school. Besides coming to check MySpace, he reads fiction, especially the short stories of Larry Brown. But at 3:15 p.m. Tuesdays, he’s ready to take on Guitar Hero. ” [The Press Enterprise]

  • Idaho Turns to Chess as Education Strategy

    “Mrs. McCoy does not do this because she is passionate about chess; she barely knew how to play before this school year. But she began teaching it as part of an unusual pilot program under way in more than 100 second- and third-grade classrooms across Idaho.
    On Thursday, state officials will announce in Boise that the program will be extended in the fall to all second and third graders — making Idaho the first state to offer a statewide chess curriculum….
    There are no studies showing that teaching chess has benefits for children, but there is anecdotal evidence, Mr. Luna said.
    ‘One of the things that we hear is that too much of what we do is based on rote memorization,’ Mr. Luna said. ‘The part I really like about this program is that kids are thinking ahead.’…
    Some of the benefits of the program, Mrs. McCoy said, came in unexpected areas.
    ‘I actually have one student who is originally from Russia and two Hispanic students who have limited English skills, and chess kind of leveled the playing field, and it kind of helped their self-esteem issues,’ she said. ” [New York Times]

  • Taking Play Seriously at the Public Library With Young Video Gamers

    “And you thought libraries were supposed to be quiet. Not on Friday.
    Under the Beaux-Arts arches of Astor Hall at the New York Public Library’s flagship building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, thumping hard-rock beats mixed with tennis-ball thwacks and the screech of burning tires late Friday afternoon, as the library showed off the latest addition to its collections of books, films, music and maps: video games….
    ‘What we’re seeing is that in addition to simply helping bring kids into the library in the first place, games are having a broader effect on players, and they have the potential to be a great teaching tool,’ Mr. [Jack] Martin said. ‘If a kid takes a test and fails, that’s it. But in a game, if you fail you get to take what you’ve learned and try again.’
    ‘In a lot of these games you have to understand the rules, you have to understand the game’s world, its story. For some games you have to understand its history and the characters in order to play effectively.’…
    Across the hall, Radhames Saldivar, 16, a 10th grader from upper Manhattan, ripped through a blistering rendition of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ on Guitar Hero III. Afterward he said: ‘I never thought I’d see this happen. I might have to check out the library some more.’
    A few feet away, Carlos Rivera, 16, said he helped organize the regular Friday afternoon game sessions at the Jefferson Market library branch in Greenwich Village.
    ‘I thought a library was just for books, just for studying, just for a lot of things I don’t normally do,’ he said. ‘But when I found out the library was starting to have games it was great, because it’s really good to hear that the library is paying more attention to the youth and what we’re into.’
    He paused. ‘And it’s also good because I can just say to my parents, ‘I’m going to the library.’ ‘ ” [New York Times

  • Check out this video of a gaming tournament at the Johnson County Library, in which librarian Chris Koppenhavor talks about the benefits of gaming. Go JoCo, my childhood library system!

Another Librarian with a Wii

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 6:56 am

Congratulations to Naomi, a school librarian who won the Wii from the fundraiser Michael Stephens and I held for LISHost. Blake wrote a script that randomly generated a name from the list of donors, and hers was the name that came up.

Naomi, our Wii winner

Thank you to everyone who donated money for this cause. With your help, we raised $823 with just one Wii!

March 24, 2008

New Series of National Library Week Videos

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 2:06 pm

With National Library Week right around the corner, AL Focus will be releasing a series of videos to help promote it this year. American Libraries’ editor Dan Kraus based them on some of the statistics from ALA’s Quotable Facts about America’s Libraries brochure. Watch for the rest of them to appear on Focus during the next few weeks.

National Library Week: Reference Desk

You’re welcome to use the intro to create your own promotional videos for NLW. To grab it, follow these instructions:

March 20, 2008

20080320 SOLINET: JMO, HTH! Social Networking in Academic Libraries

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 11:52 am

Jamie Coniglio, George Mason University
– computers aren’t technology
– internet is better than tv
– doing is more important than knowing
– learning more closely resembles nintendo than logic
– multitasking is a way of life
– typing is preferred to handwriting
– staying connected is essential
– zero tolerance for delays
– consumer/creator are blurring
quick overview of social networking and different types of sites
at George Mason University, they’re playing with:
– wiki for internal communication
(showed Chad Boeninger’s business wiki as an example of a public wiki)
– Meebo widget chat box
– blogs, although they have fewer now than before because they were using them to route around the fact they didn’t have a CMS
– moving to a research portal that blends WordPress and the Internet Scout Toolkit
– have fooled around with MySpace, and they’ll respond, but not much going on for them there
– same thing with Facebook
– seriously looking at LibGuides; playing with it right now
– have discovered Zoho and are trying Zoho Show as a way to share materials among staff
– bookmark sets
– showed the UThink blogging project at the University of Minnesota
– virtual reality
– showed the browser Flock
marketing & social networks
– keep your content fresh
– provide reliable content
– know your market
– have good content
from an organizational point of view, where do we put the personnel for this
– declining visits/gate counts (at least in academia)
– fewer reference desk transactions
– fewer circulations of print materials
– competitors in the information environment
– disintermediation
– being where our users
– being useful where our users are
– realizing we aren’t in control (chaotic versus structured)
– silo-ing or personalization
– who’s on desk
– face time versus online
– privacy? her staff uses nom de plumes on Facebook to protect their email addresses and identities
– keeping up/”losing” skills
– getting/keeping good parapros
– riding the tsunami
– organizational structure/agility
free the bound periodicals? and more?
– discomfort (certainty versus uncertainty)
students aren’t using their GMU email addresses because they already have other personal ones
– stay aware of “uber” environment to kee up
– pilot/try it out (if someone wants to try it, she says sure)
– student input/feedback/training us
– keep/move on/ can’t be wedded to “one way”
– avoid searching for a magic bullet; can’t emphasize flexibility enough
– departmental facility; take advantage of your staff’s expertise
– streamline aspects of “standard” job elements
– read special library “tactics”
– create zones of experimentation
– building a “knowledge practice;” start with the ones who will work with you
– closer alignment with curricular changes, emerging and redesign academic programs
– movement from “support service” toward collaboration and partnerships
– value risk-taking
– reorientation toward user-centered services; noted University of Rochester’s anthropological report published through ACRL
service transformation to
– visible
– trainer/learner
– collaborative
– informal
– visual

20080320 SOLINET: Changing Context for Metadata Management

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 9:57 am

Karen Calhoun
metadata management bw (before the web) and aw (after htet web)
– or finding library materials
– catalog records (well-understood)
– shared cooperative cataloging systems
– for finding all kinds of things
– many types of records and sources
– loosely-coupled metadata management
– multiple batch creation and extract
metadata is now really cool stuff
recommends O’Reilly’s article “What is Web 2.0?” and David Weinberger’s book Everything Is Miscellaneous
“the third order of order” – make the biggest pile you can
“include and postpone” – can be organized over time, some of them will be grassroots (like LibraryThing), some will be official (taxonomies, etc.)
– need them both, but have to pay attention to the less formal ones
people are using metadata to interact and contribute, even though they may not know what it is
what would metadata 2.0 be like?
– not your father’s metadata
– remixing, reuse, mashups
– wth the necessary rights
– metadata syndication
– enabling a rich user experience
– global, group, and local metadata management
– long term vision
– things you can do right now at your library
Amazon relentlessly enhanced metadata and redefined it for the world of books
what is a “full record?”
showed the same record from Libraries Australia, WorldCat, and Amazon to show the differences between a “full record” for each
from a user perspective, which one is the “full record?” amazon
– the horse has left the barn
using metadata from multiple sources
all of this remixing has generated a high interest in copyright
Creative Commons licensing has proven to provide an alternative to full control – it’s a bridge between a world that controls every use (“all rights reserved”) and anarchy where content providers are exposed to exploitation
CC lets you protect your work while also allowing your content to be remixed
“intellectual property management” is one of the burning issues of Web 2.0
be where their eyes are; syndicate your metadata outwards
OCLC calls this getting libraries to “web scale” – getting collections to show up in as many places as possible through this kind of syndication
showed WorldCat Facebook widget
– showed how you can share a WC list with people in FB
makes library collections more visible and connects everyday users the ability to share books in new and exciting ways
overwhelmingly, users start with an internet search engine, not library resources
this doesn’t mean people are no longer using libraries or library resources, but it does mean they no longer begin with the library website
so we have to take our collections where the users are
catalog used to be our sun in the galaxy, but now it’s just a planet in the user’s galaxy
the story of the catalog is not over
one library working by itself is not going to make this happen, is not going to get to “web scale”
can’t command a huge amount of attention for just one library
she believes that to keep libraries strong and vibrant in their communities, we need to work together to command a much larger presence on the web for library collections
talked about Open WorldCat Partner Program
showed an example of driving traffic from the web to a library-owned title
chose a German title (since the internet and books aren’t just for English readers)
we can be connected: a new vision for metadata management
data can flow local <--> group <--> global statistics
– number of libraries visible through WC and partner sites = more than 10,000
(ed. – see my Flickrstream for the rest of this slide)
everywhere, the library
anchors for neighborhoods and communities, just as they always have been
welcoming space in the community + great visibility of the collection on the web so that no matter where you start, you can end up at your library
long-term vision
no less than a new age in which an individual library catalog is one node on the web that is attached to many other nodes and the user can traverse those nodes easily and conveniently to their library’s collections
can retain your independence but be loosely connected in Web 2.0-fashion, the same way so many other things are today
what can you do right now?
– take libraries to a wider audience, eg surface your collections in as many places as you can on the web
– encourage a Web 2.0 “culture of participation” in your own communities; support digital citizenship
– partner with museums, historical societies, cultural organizations, eg to add new online content
pushing our data out, pulling users in: libraries and course management systems
in 2004, 40% of classes used course management systems; more now
good: embed a library presence in course sites
better: customize RSS feeds to course sites, links to course readings
American University has done some great work integrating conent into LMS courses using customized RSS feeds
public libraries in Canada created
working with the community to index locally-relevant sites
has a “life events” section (retirement, what to do if you lose your pet, going off to college, etc.)
public libraries in the UK created The People’s Network
was funded by the lottery
partnering with individuals and community groups to create content
question: if we spoonfeed the content into the LMS, does that give students less incentive to learn how to do it themselves
answer: if 2% are starting with the library website, 98% of them aren’t seeing this stuff anyway; doing this can drive users back to using your resources and services
question: what should catalogers be doing differently in terms of their work
answer: they should be embracing many sources of data, reuse it, get it done as quickly and as easily as you can; make sure your catalog is current – never have a backlog; revamp your skills and this kind of metadata management; learn how to interact with your user community; learn how to handle special collections
question: is there a way for me at my public library to find out how many links are coming back to my catalog from WorldCat?
answer: yes!

20080320 SOLINET: Bibliophiles and Social Networking Mashup

Filed under: precat — tsladmin @ 9:11 am

Kate Sheehan
the OPAC sucks
showed LibraryThing
Kate stalked Tim Spaulding in order to be the first beta tester of LibraryThing for Libraries
LfL takes all of the warm, fuzzy, reader-generated information about books and puts it into your catalog
showed a record with MARC info above and LfL info below on the screen
showed tag cloud
you end up clicking around from book to book in LibraryThing thinking “I want to read this, this, this, this, this”
when do people ever just hang out in your catalog?
LfL is great for reader’s advisory
showed the code side of it – it’s just 3 lines!
monkeys could do this – it’s really that easy :-p
it’s like Syndetics info – it’s just outside content
using Innovative for their catalog
implemented LfL in April 2007
.003-.006 cents per circ of books (not counting A/V materials)
fractions of a penny per circ
they’re really nice people and they’ll work with you; no hard sell
why can’t we have this experience all the time??
*and* they understand the constraints libraries are under (POs, etc.)
floor entry is $1000
staff have loved it
Kate loves how easy LfL is for folks to use without having to understand how to log in to a site
thinks patrons like it, although they don’t give a lot of feedback about it
patrons like it when staff shows it to them
they just added stats
the service includes children’s books, but it’s stronger in YA
she had a big social justice moment when they did this – “we can do this – it doesn’t have to be just the big libraries”
it’s not extra work, and it’s very easy to add
the OPAC still kinda sucks, but it’s better than it was
Danbury just isn’t going to be able to do a SOPAC, it doesn’t have the resources, so this is great for them
LfL has a full-time programmer and a customer service rep
might be working on patron reviews and ratings back into LfL

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