ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

Tumbling about Libraries April 28, 2008

Filed under: Staff Development — ellie @ 6:19 pm

I read a lot of blogs and find a ton of stuff I want to share. Too much stuff. Rather than drown people, I’ve decided to follow Steven Cohen’s lead and Tumbl it. You can see the newest posts to the right of the screen or head over to Too Much Information. If you’re interested, you can even subscribe to the RSS.


Just had to share

Filed under: FYI,Reference — ellie @ 6:12 pm
Tags: ,

This isn’t anything new, just something I remembered recently and thought was worth sharing.

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is an excellent resource – “a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.”

But it’s search function seems to be broken.

You can do a Google site search though to pull out it’s treasures. For example, on witches (a common one at ACC).


I am proud

Filed under: ACC — ellie @ 3:23 pm

ACC has a fabulous campaign going on right now. The one below came on while I was watching TV yesterday. It makes me so proud to work here. (And yes, these are real students.)


Friday Link Round Up April 25, 2008

Filed under: Friday Link Round Up — ellie @ 2:03 pm
Tags: , ,

In case you missed it


A round up of some screenshot tools

  • Super Screenshot – enter a URL, get a screenshot
  • Skitch – “the internet camera, snap, draw, share”
  • Jing – download, captures images and video of anything on your computer
  • Snapper – Firefox add-on, easily saves only a portion of the page
  • Fireshot – Firefox add-on – can save the whole page, even what’s not currently visible, includes editing functions
  • Page Saver Basic – Firefox add-on – can save a whole page or just the visible portion
  • Screengrab – Firefox add-on – Save or copy the current page, viewport or selection in a png file
  • Just hit print screen and it will save what you can see to your clipboard

Go Austin! April 24, 2008

Filed under: Conferences,TLA 2008 — ellie @ 5:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The Austin Public Library’s winning book cart drill team performance is up on YouTube. (The banner at the end reads: “Literature is my Utopia – Hellen Keller”)

And just in case you missed the original “I want to be a librarian” video when it was making the rounds here it is again too.


Take a (constructive) swipe at subject headings April 23, 2008

Filed under: FYI,Soapbox — ellie @ 9:32 pm
Tags: , ,

I saw this at info-mational and had to share.

Check out this awesome project from Radical Reference, as written up in The Experiment:

Viva RR!

Do subject headings still matter? We say they do.

Does the Library of Congress always identify accessible and appropriately named headings and implement them in a timely manner? We say not always. All you have to do is spend one day behind a reference desk to see examples of biased, non-inclusive, and counterintuitive classifications that slow down, misdirect, or even obscure information from library users. As librarians and library workers, providing access to information is important-and classifying it in ways that are inclusive and intuitive strengthens our egalitarian mission.

Between now and Sunday, April 27, Radical Reference invites you to suggest subject headings and/or cross-references which will then be compiled and sent to the Library of Congress. You can either choose one previously suggested by Sandy Berman (pdf or spreadsheet) or propose your own.

This is a chance to positively impact the catalog of the de facto national library of the United States, which also impacts cataloging all over the world! Here’s how…

The plan
Some time between now and Sunday, April 27 at 6pm Eastern:

  1. Select one or more subject headings or cross-references to suggest
  2. Provide material to support your suggestion (in the form of a link and excerpted text/image)
  3. Blog it somewhere (your own site; Radical Reference–if you’re a registered and authenticated user on the site, you can create your own blog post, if not, just make it a comment to this post; an online file sharing service like Google Docs or Zoho)
  4. Tag it for del.icio.us: rr_lcsh2008 and for:radical_reference. If you don’t have a delicious account email me, and I’ll tag it for you.
  5. If you are suggesting a subject heading not previously submitted to LC (e.g. not on Sandy’s scorecard), also submit your proposal to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.
  6. For discussion and help, join the Meebo and/or Skype chat,which will be active on Sunday from 4-6 ET for sure, and other times, as staffed.
  7. If you are in the NYC area, you can come to the ABC No Rio Computer Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side for some in person collaboration.
  8. We will email a link to the tagged items to LC, print out a copy of each blog post and mail it to Sandy, and we’re kinda hoping that the members of the RADCAT (radical cataloging) discussion list will consider entering some of the suggested headings properly into the proposal for Example of a new subject heading request.Example of a new cross-references request.


Here’s a link to the SACO Manual that might help everyone understand what is needed for filling out the form. The examples are really great, but library lingo-heavy.


Much obliged to the RR folks for yet another badass idea.


TLA Conference – Transforming Texas Libraries Task Force

On Friday, April 18 from 7:30 to 9 a.m., the Transforming Texas Libraries Task Force will have a chance to debrief the comments made during the Thursday afternoon program. Coffee and breakfast breads will be available.

This was a debriefing of the session the day before. We were reminded about the report and asked to keep in mind that this is a draft report. It’s not the 10 things we’re going to do, but some of the big ideas. The agenda wasn’t to discuss the report but we decided to start with that. The report and appendices are all online.

Julie’s initial comment has to do with fine tuning. The report is intended to give big sweeping direction, but people wanted directives – “this is what we’re going to do.” We’re trying to decide how specific we want to be.

A lot of the discussion at the meeting were concerns about wanting to move forward but not sure how. We have a big hole with what comes next because it wasn’t intended to do that. It was just to start things going.

Julie is working on the materials for the “getting excited about it” part, but we need a next step.

We heard people asking, “tell me what to do,” but we’re trying to tell them how to have a discussion.

We’re hoping that the document will foster a culture of change. Fostering that broader culture is where we need to be looking. We’re not talking about a cookbook. This isn’t Access Texas. It’s a much broader harder thing to get to because it’s much less tangible. It’s going to be a journey, not a destination. If we stop having the conversation, if we say we finished, we did it, then we failed.

We think having the wikis and sharing what others are doing will be helpful.

We need an interim step of 3 or 4 scenarios of what’s next.

People think transform and they think 2.0, but it doesn’t have to be about technology. Some people left confused.

We want to create a 2 page executive summary – “Texas is talking about.” We’ll put that up and then send out a blast email. We’re struggling with how much info to leave in the report. Julie used a cruise analogy – we went on this cruise and had such a wonderful time and now we want to show you all our pictures, but no one wants to see all your cruise pictures. We need to pick out the best ones. We need to figure out how to use the appendices and lists.

They want a hook to hang their hat on, which is why she was saying district meetings. We think we need to be more specific in the scenarios.

We need to shift to concentration on user. The future of Texas is not, “If we can just get them to use the databases…” There’s the broader issue of switching from, “here’s what we have for you” to “what is it you need and how do you want to get to it?”

A lot of the thinking needs to be rethinking the questions.

We want to create some scenarios that help people recognize what it might look like when they have transformed. It’s not a best practices it’s a vision.

Establishing relationships with constituents, provide them a list of outside facilitators so they can hold their own focus groups to collect local data. Then have people put those questions and answers in the wiki.

There was talk of the realization that not everyone is starting at the same point – it’s going to be different for different people.

There are so many ways people collect information about what people want. Even the simplest are important – do you have comment card/suggestion cards in your library? – what about online? There are many low-tech non-scientific ways to do things. This is an ongoing process, it’s just part of doing business.

Emphasize that this is different for everyone.

We want our constituents to realize we are motivated and enthusiastic, we have service values.

We need more events that will cause our own profession to evolve. The district meetings are to convert the preachers, not the masses. Julie said that would be the dinner speech approach.

The single most transforming event has been the rally. We need a video with a number of things – we’re changing, we’re excited about what we’re doing.

We have to do a geographic dispersion.

A bunch of librarians liked the general session – great topic, liked the format of conversation, they could see where they could transform here at their own libraries.

Maybe have a staff development focus.

Idaho did a study of digital natives.

ACRL just had a free webcast – Henry Jenkins has done incredible work with teenagers.

I reiterated my emphasis on grass roots – that staff meetings should be started with an open floor, maybe something akin to PLA dangerous ideas session, not with a top down “here’s what we’re going to do.”

Start with things to be done internally with the idea of critical mass pulling you over.

We need to be committed to continuing this dialog. We need to inundate people. We can be a powerful force for change in our communities, for transparency in government for example. So it’s not just libraries changing for constituents, but also helping constituents change.

Next tasks: executive summary 1st, scenarios 2nd