Saturday, July 30, 2005 Rocks!

Peter Cooper has updated what was once RSS Digest to the new, improved and highly-usable Feed Digest. Check out the new feed on my sidebar titled "Random References." Ok, I know...sometimes my ego needs a little stroke.

If any of you are publishing feeds via a blog or a locally saved page, this is definitely a great way to go. Control your mixes, see the outputs, play with the templates. This is just too much fun for a feed freak. ;)

Click here for the QuickTime movie that will show you how to get started!

Empowering CSS Layout Tutorial Provoked Microsoft?

If you're interested in web design and eager to brush up on your Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) skills, check out "Throwing Tables Out the Window. The article points to a simple, yet detailed presentation by Douglas Bowmn of Stop Design.

Though published almost a year ago, the tutorial goes underneath the hood of the Microsoft homepage and discusses how to achieve various navigation effects via CSS. Soon after, Microsoft redesigned their homepage, incorporating at least some of Bowman's style. Click here for "Still Throwing Tables", an article discussing the original publication's affects.

Also noted is the tutorial's delivery method, which I am also studying. :)

Friday, July 29, 2005

PRIMO: American University Library's Information Literacy Tutorial

Awarded the Association of College and Research Libraries Site of the Month for June 2005, the American University Library’s Information Literacy Tutorial is intended to establish a base-line set of information literacy competencies for students, the tutorial is designed to incorporate higher-order critical thinking skills. Click here to access the tutorial.

via my inbox, originally submitted by MissInformation.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

AnnoyancesCentral Debuts

Those crazy O'Reilly kids have introduced, an easy-to-navigate site for daily tips and fixes for you and your PC or Mac. Right now they're giving away a $29.95 value in the Onfolio 2.0 Personal Edition RSS Reader. Excellent!

Found via Information Today's Online Insider

Live Homework Help for Alabama Students Thanks to State Library Service

Alabama has become the first state in the nation to have a statewide homework help program. The program is provided to state residents by the Alabama Public Library Service. The personal homework help is conducted via and is for students in grades four through 12 and college intro in math, science, social studies or English.

The system goes live on August 1st. and can be found at

Click here for Governor Riley's press release. is bringing trainers into four areas of the state to help prepare librarians, library staff, media specialists, and teachers for the initiative.

Update: click here to access the flash tutorial titled "Guide to Live Homework Help for Alabama Students."

The 10 Most Misunderstood Terms in IT

  1. acronym

  2. ASP

  3. ATM

  4. bandwidth

  5. JavaScript

  6. kilobit

  7. .NET

  8. platform

  9. server

  10. Windows

Think you know what these terms really mean? Click here to find out!

  • 0-3 Correct: Find the nearest Gates Training Center, pronto!
  • 4-6 Correct: Not bad, but you might not pass the Computer Core Competency test...
  • 7-8 Correct: Can probably talk to your IT person without your eyes glazing over.
  • 9-10 Correct: So how long have you been working in the Systems Room?

  • Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Add your own Feeds to Personalized Google

    Get your personalized Google page here. Great catch, Library Clips!

    Must-Have Technology Skills for Library Staff

    The Shifted Librarian, Jenny Levine, has updated an educator-based technology skills list to include tech skills Librarians should know. Relevant, good stuff!

    In the same vein, here are my recommendations for tech skills for Library staff and paraprofessionals:

    1. Your specific library's electronic material management system
    2. Any electronic service offered by your library (ebooks, online courses, scholarly databases)
    3. Word processing and spreadsheets skills (especially those programs installed on your Public Access Computers)
    4. Web navigation skills, including deep searching
    5. News management skills (including Headline News, professional journals, and library-related weblogs)
    6. E-Mail management skills
    7. File management & Windows Explorer skills, including storage devices
    8. Educational Copyright knowledge
    9. Computer security knowledge
    10. Any mandated computer policies, such as CIPA filtering and usage restrictions

    July Issue of ASSOCIATES available

    Check it out at Editor Wendee Eyler says "It's a great issue! Enjoy reading!"

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    PLA Grant: Institutional Scholarships for Public Library Staff

    PLA provides funding for “Grow Your Own @ Your Library®” institutional scholarships for public libraries, 2005-08

    CHICAGO - The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will award five public libraries with grants of $8,000 each to be distributed to staff for work toward obtaining a master's degree in library and information studies. The application deadline for this pilot program is December 1, 2005.

    The scholarship terms require that $6,500 be used directly for payment of tuition at the undergraduate level, or at an ALA-accredited library school graduate level, for as many staff as the recipient library chooses, and $1,500 is to be used to support attendance for one or more of the selected scholarship recipients to attend PLA-sponsored continuing education. For criteria and application information, please visit PLA's website at: More from the ALA Press Release

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Scott Berkun's Team Management Essays

    How to learn from your mistakes - If some mistakes are unavoidable, the smart learn everything they can from them.

    How to survive a bad manager - What to do when you work for someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

    Why you must lead or follow - The way teams work, you must know where you stand.

    Why I left Microsoft - A personal essay on why I left Microsoft after nearlfy a decade working there.

    Why smart people defend bad ideas - I’ve catalogued many of the ways this happens, including advice on prevention.

    How to interview and hire people - An approach for getting the most out of a 60 minute interview.

    How to pitch an idea - Here's a short primer on how to pitch ideas and concepts to other people.
    And that's just July 2005. Wow.

    Find more about Scott, who "He helps project teams build better software, work better together, and grow into happy and successful organizations". at

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Must Read: Creating Passionate Users Blog

    Found via ref:blog:spot, The Creating Passionate Users blog is a fabulously funny and informative blog for trainers, teachers or anyone who instructs. The bloggers are all authors of bestseller Head First books ( --a new brain-friendly series from O'Reilly.

    With pointed graphics (love those thought bubbles on the 50's couples!) they are "passionate about the brain and metacognition, most especially--how the brain works and how to exploit it for better learning and memory."

    Carnegie Biographer claims 'father of philanthropy' was driven by guilt not good intention

    From a review of Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America
    He is revered as the man who made the classic rags-to-riches transformation, the son of a poor Scottish weaver who became the world's richest man then gave away his fortune to help those less fortunate.

    Andrew Carnegie became known as the "father of philanthropy" after making his millions in the American steel industry of the 19th century. By his death he had given away more than $350m and set up over 2,800 public libraries.

    But the man whose motto was "the man who dies rich dies disgraced" had a dark side and was capable of ruthlessness and cruelty, according to a new book. Read more from The Scotman

    Library Staff Ethics Question

    Interesting discussion at Library Lovers' LiveJournal:
    Do we really believe that because librarians work for peanuts that we "deserve" to check out new books first?
    I imagine that most libraries, like ours, have a staff policy which states that staff members are required to follow the same circulation policies as the public. Our library does have programming accounts with a longer circulation period, and yes, staff members don't accrue fines.

    But to sneak a book when it's on reserve for a patron? I had the opportunity last week. I REALLY wanted to read Janet Evanovich's Eleven on Top and found it on the bookmobile. After catching up with the bookmobile Librarian late in the afternoon, lo and behold he has that very book in his satchel. Cool, I thought, he's a mind reader, too! Too bad he'd brought out the book for a patron request...but I let it go.

    And I wanted to take that book on my long camping weekend and find out if Stephanie and Ranger finally...oh never mind.

    Any way, Yes, I had the opportunity. No, I didn't take it. I have maintained my commitment to our policies...but darn it, I've got to know if she finally picks Ranger or Joe!

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Something Funny Happened at LIS Wiki

    More and more I am enjoying LIS Wiki. HOWTO:Apply for a library job is an excellent article with very specific tips plus an insight into the library field.

    As I'm following the links I see HOWTO Guides, then HOWTO:Give a presentation. As a trainer I'm always looking for ways to imrove my classes, so I clicked.

    Then I snorted coffee through my nose!

    Rebuilding of Baghdad library speaks volumes on tenacity

    In April 2003, in the chaotic days following the fall of Baghdad, looters broke into the library, Hussein says.

    Her husband brought his gun from home and the two stood sentinel over the building, but not before looters made away with about 10,000 books and magazines, leaving about 5,000 volumes behind.

    One day around that time, a U.S. tank pushed into the property and punched a hole in the wall, Hussein says. Military interpreters told her they were looking for Iraq's former leader, she says. Hussein says she used her first paycheck from the city to patch up the hole and mend the fence outside.

    Soon after, she visited area mosques and posted signs asking residents to return her books. More from USA Today...

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Sign the Campaign for Reader Privacy Petition

    Campaign For Reader PrivacyThe Campaign for Reader Privacy is a joint initiative of the American Booksellers Association, PEN American Center, the American Library Association, and the Association of American Publishers.

    Sign the petition today!

    Online Course: What is RSS and Why Should I Care?

    Click here for an online course titled "What is RSS and Why Should I Care?" with a delivery method based on a concept by's Jessamyn West. The zipped archive for this presentation is available here. My apolologies to Ms. West for mutilating her lovely code.

    Maximize Your Brain

    How to Write More Clearly, Think More Clearly, and Learn Complex Material More Easily
    Michael A. Covington
    Artificial Intelligence Center The University of Georgia


    Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki

    All over the world, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their library knows about. There are lots of great blogs out there sharing information about the profession, but there is no one place where all of this information is collected and organized. See more at the Introduction to Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki.
    via lbr blog

    Sirsi's Stephen Abrams Joins the Blogosphere with Lighthouse

    Having long been a fan of Stephen Abrams and his articles and presentations, I really look forward to his new blog, Stephen's Lighthouse.
    The lighthouse theme is based on what lighthouses do - shine a light on the waters and/or sound a horn to help ships navigate the course. They don't always stop the ships from crashing onto the rocks but they help most of the time. - Stephen's first blog post

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    ALA Issues & Advocacy Webinar

    A Web-based version or "Webinar" of the ALA Advocacy Institute, which took place Friday, June 24, 2005, at the ALA 2005 Annual Conference in Chicago, is now available on the ALA Web site at

    Targeting the beginning library advocate, the Advocacy Institute brought together approximately 150 librarians, library workers, Friends, Trustees and other advocates. Attendees learned strategies for message development, building grassroots coalitions, and lobbying tips.

    The Web-based version of the Advocacy Institute provides audio of the actual day, along with accompanying PowerPoint presentations. The program can be downloaded by segment, so that viewers can focus on subjects pertinent to them. The accompanying "Advocacy Action Plan Workbook," as well as an evaluation, can be downloaded from this site.
    The site will be available for 30 days.

    via Alabama Public Library Service

    Ten Tips for the Techno-Challenged

    Techlearning > > Web Research: Ten Tips for the Techno-Challenged > June 15, 2005

    Nice article from to introduce (or re-introduce?) "a few key, time-saving facts about Internet research."

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    The Librarian Shortage Debate Continues

    Alot has been said about the supposed shortage of librarians.

    The Exploded Library has written more on the librarian shortage debate for the The Australian Library and Information Association. Like the author, I agree that the article addresses a global issue.
    The library directors and leaders of the future don't just appear, they hired into entry level positions, and then mentored, promoted and groomed for management. Are you doing your bit to ensure that this happens?

    My thoughts? Both library staff and working librarians need to do everything they can, including using any and all staff training opportunities, to stay current and viable in the library work-place.

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    What's Cooking in Search Engine Labs...Librarians?

    An article popped up that, while a good insight into the latest developments in Search Engines, also got me thinking "what if..."

    Man on left: We might need more resources, go grab somebody off the Reference desk.

    Man on Right: SHUSH! Have a little respect here, wouldja?

    ...ok sorry, there's my sick sense of humor again, but hey, it might not be that far off.