Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina's Aftermath

As everyone knows it's been a horrible few days: Hurricane Katrina and her devastation will be felt for years to come. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families.

As you might guess, I'm an information junkie and as the storm approached I was virtually mainlining as it's weather news and commentary (led by Southern meteorological minded folk) provided ample info to feed my long-running weather news habit. There I found links to live new streams and could watch local New Orleans news as the storm progressed. The blog world became alive with posts about Katrina.

Then the storm hit my area and we lost power. No big deal compared to what others are going through. While at home, I had a small transistor radio. Listening to the coverage on AM radio by candle-light has made me feel closer to what happened...Closer to the victims. The kids aren't complaining because they know there are others who have it a lot worse than us. My 11 year old son asked if we could go down to help...I told him that we'd send in a donation to the Red Cross as they are much better trained at this type thing than we are.

I was struck by the communication pattern that has begun to evolve. Yesterday I caught a station out of Birmingham and refugees would call in to find out information on the types of damage to their home towns. The announcer would then google news reports for that area and relay them to the callers. At one point a woman called in to ask about Slidell where her elderly parents had evacuated...The disc jockey read back that "there was nothing left but slabs of concrete." The woman burst into tears while the man just kept on reading...Even repeating the worst parts.

The staff at WWL, New Orleans largest broadcasters, have been much, much more compassionate when, as is often the case, victims call in for information. I barely slept last night because I couldn't stop listening.

Now, online, there are real, heart-wrenching stories about the storm and it's aftermath: I found metroblogging.neworleans and lots of mainstream media news blogs. Today I find Katrina's Aftermath, an open blog for those who wish to post stories, pictures, and missing persons information.

I also see that at neworleans.craigslist people are offering to make calls or send emails for evacuees, some even posting their addresses and phone numbers, offering to house those in need. People really do care.

Back at work I feel more connected. I can check my Bloglines subscriptions, and get streaming news reports. But I can't get memory of the scratchy AM radio reception and that crying woman out of my mind. My hope for her, as is for all the victims of this disaster, is peace.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Great Guru Knows ALL!

Thanks to my husband for the heads-up!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How UCLA Librarians Use Google Scholar

See the August 2005 survey here.
At UCLA, library staff places high value on “search as service” and also on information literacy. Google Scholar™, as other scholarly search engines, allows and enables users to search over scholarly content. Our decision to “elevate” Google Scholar™ to our home page reflects and supports these values. Our decision to nest Google Scholar™ within the context of the research process writ large similarly reflects these values, serving, at the same time, to reinforce the Library’s relevance to the academic success of our users.
Link via Open Access News

Front Line Staff Unleashed

Libraries for Dummies

What I say and what I think are often in direct opposition; here you will be privy to my thoughts whereas in the real world you will receive a textbook answer and plastic smile.
Real-life stories about working in a public library...and what you might WISH you could actually say!

Link via my inbox...and then I saw that Steven had already covered it. Ah's worth it. LOL

Your next telemarketer may ask about public libraries

Americans for Libraries Council, a national nonprofit that champions the role of libraries in American life, announced it has been awarded a two-year, $770,000 million challenge grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to implement Building the Case for Libraries a three-part initiative to build knowledge about public libraries. More...
Using focus groups, interviews with civic and community leaders, and telephone surveys the ALC will examine what people think of libraries in order to expand support for libraries in general.

Hmmmm, wonder why I'm thinking of Chicken Little right now...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Jollyologist: Loretta LaRoche

Sorry for the limited posting recently but things have gotten crazy here...fortunately I'm showing the Joy of Stress by Loretta LaRoche as lunch-time seminars. What a hoot! Loretta is part comedienne and part therapist: the perfect combination to "Stop Global Whining!" The staff has loved the video and I'm thrilled that classes are FULL!

And I just discovered that she does a radio show every Friday. Yay!

Presentation: Guide to Free Homework Help for Alabama Students

For background information concerning please see this post.

Click here to access the Flash presentation. Best set your display properties to at least 1024x768 as this guide is meant to be projected. :)

Monday, August 15, 2005

It's Not Just Federal Funding at Risk Any Longer: It's Your Job!

Noted: the major uproar over the recent incident in which the Valparaiso (Florida) Community Library Director, Sue Martin, has been suspended for allowing a registered sex offender and three juveniles to view pornography on her library's public access computers.

While the Childrens Internet Protection Act hasn't yet required that staff be dismissed for such digressions, local authorities may apparently do so at their whim.

The city attorney's office says she has been suspended with pay and will receive a hearing within 60 days.

So, too, are all of the library patrons being punished: WTEV reports that "Hard drives have been removed from the computers and the public isn't allowed to use them until further notice."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Google Print on Hiatus

From the Google Blog
So now, any and all copyright holders – both Google Print partners and non-partners – can tell us which books they’d prefer that we not scan if we find them in a library. To allow plenty of time to review these new options, we won’t scan any in-copyright books from now until this November.
While Google may be finally showing respect for the publishers concerns, others view it as a sell-out.

CNet notes that Google will allow publishers to present a list of books not eligible for scanning, however "Google's move apparently did not satisfy all publishers' concerns regarding the project." By marking the copyright owner reponsible (instead of the end-user), copyright law has been "turned on it's ear" according to Patricia Schroeder, CEO of the Association of American Publishers.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

ALA-APA seeks providers for public librarian certification

The American Library Association – Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has issued a Request for Proposal for educators for it's Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) designation. The program is slated to begin in 2006. Click here for the ALA announcement.

So...I wonder how much longer until we see an announcement like this for support staff?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

How to be a Leader in 6 Easy Steps

Philip E. Agre, Department of Information Studies (UCLA), has updated his 2001 essay "How to Be a Leader in Your Field: A Guide for Students in Professional Schools" and reinforces that anyone can have impact in their chosen field. In summary, these steps are:
  1. Pick an issue.
  2. Having chosen your issue, start a project to study it.
  3. Find relevant people and talk to them.
  4. Pull together what you've heard.
  5. Circulate the result.
  6. Build on your work.
Become inspired here:

Nancy Pearl Interview at

Great interview from the Librarian Action Figure Herself:
Q: What do you think about being the model for an action figure that's more popular than Jesus?

A: It’s a hoot - but look how John Lennon got in trouble for saying that about the Beatles! Read More...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Carnival of Infosciences Begin

See the best of the Library Bloggers! "The Carnival of the Infosciences" is a weekly, traveling column which showcases the best posts concerning Library and Information Science. Check it out at Open Stacks!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Library Staff Overloaded at MLN

41 public and acedemic libraries in Eastern Massachusetts, otherwise known as the Minuteman Library Network (MLN), are having a hard time keeping up with a 30% increase in patron requests via their online catalog. It is no fault of the library staff, but apparently patrons are getting edgy. Library Director Barbara Myles explains:
It is (by design) so easy to request items from other libraries in MLN that many of our 666,000 patrons use it to borrow many of those 1,246,000 titles. That's the good news. The bad news is, the delivery system is on the brink of heat stroke from the resulting volume of materials moving from Medfield to Winchester, Dover to Concord, with every single item going through Hyde Park for sorting. Read the full story in the Lincoln Journal

Compassion from the Reference Desk

More than goodness from The Feel Good Librarian: Compassion.

She tells of her library's staff helping a patron find the perfect book for a father who spends his evenings sitting with his grown daughter. They wait for cancer to claim her. I am in tears. And I am so proud to work in a public library.

Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 Audio

Hear worthwhile business advice from Complete with a .pdf handout and an agenda in .dot format, Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman present Effective Meetings - Get Out of Jail!. The audio file may be found at and should play in Windows media, or what ever you use to listen to audio.

Mike and Mark discuss various meeting techniques including the one-on-one and the team meeting. You can listen or subscribe to all their podcasts here.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Welcome to the Blogosphere: Library Grants

Library Grants is a new online journal for those interested in grant opportunities in the library field. Grants in education and literacy are also mentioned. Edited by Stephanie Gerding & Pam Mackellar, authors of the upcoming Grants for Libraries: A How-To-Do-It Manual and CD-ROM for Librarians, this certainly seems to be a promising resource!

Link via Beyond the Job.

Waxing Philosophic: The Spirit of Public Libraries in Free Culture

Check out this well written, thoughtful post at Lawrence Lessig's Blog:
I love public libraries. As a kid, I spent most of my lazy Saturday afternoons inside one of the various branches of our library system, delighted at the idea that, wherever I looked, there would be stories, magazines, or books on virtually any subject to capture my attention. The feel of the library was no less captivating. An ethos of learning and relaxation definitely hung in the air, bringing together people of all ages -- from pre-schoolers to senior citizens -- into the midst of a Renaissance-like mesh of scientific thinking and artistic expression. Read more from The spirit of public libraries in free culture