Monday, September 26, 2005

Louisville celebrates nation's first African-American library

Bessie Green didn't have much to read at her Chestnut Street home, except for a few black newspapers, some old National Geographic magazines and newspapers she occasionally got from the white woman whose home she cleaned.

So she depended on the Western branch of the Louisville Free Public Library.

"Books are your freedom, child, don't forget that," Green told her 4-year-old granddaughter, Gloria Brady, in the early 1940s as they made their way up the tree-lined street for a visit to the library.

The memory of her grandmother's words is strong for Brady -- now 63 and known as Nana Yaa Asantewaa.

For her and many black people in Louisville, the Western branch library provided that freedom. And as the nation's first full-service library branch run by and for black people, it set a precedent for the country. Read More...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Library Mosaics Ceases Publication


I was saddened to hear that Library Mosaics will cease publication after the November/December 2005 issue. After 16 years of publication the publisher, Raymond Roney, based his decision mainly on financial grounds. Ray also said: "With decreasing circulation, diminished advertising revenue, and rising paper and postage costs, it is no longer economically feasible to continue publishing the magazine. We have struggled against the bottom line as long as we could because we believed in the magazine's value to support staff around the world." Charlie Fox is the Editor and Editorial Director.

Library Mosaics is only one of two journals for library support staff and is the only print journal. The absence of Library Mosaics will leave a void for the library support staff profession.

I would like to express my thanks to both Ray and Charlie for their dedication and for providing an excellent publication. Many of us became involved with library issues and concerns because Library Mosaics provided a forum to present and discuss the view of library support staff.

My best wishes to both Ray and Charlie.

Wendee Eyler
Associates: The Electronic Library Support Staff Journal

Reposted from Lipsup-L with permission.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

SirsiDynix Offers Emergency Hosting and Consulting Services for Libraries Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—September 21, 2005—SirsiDynix announced today that it has established an Emergency Hosting and Consulting Services Program for libraries in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama affected by Hurricane Katrina, as well as customers in Texas and Louisiana that are likely to face Hurricane Rita by Saturday, September 24. Disaster-recovery services available include ASP hosting of (1) Web servers and general Web page information and (2) entire Unicorn or Horizon integrated library systems, plus general emergency consulting services to assist libraries in their system recovery efforts. The objective of these services is to enable libraries with back-up data to run their systems remotely on SirsiDynix servers housed in secure facilities. These services are available immediately at no cost to currently or potentially affected SirsiDynix customer libraries.

For libraries facing Hurricane Rita
SirsiDynix customer libraries in the projected path of Hurricane Rita that want to take precautionary steps to protect their library data and to use SirsiDynix secure hosting facilities can send back-up data to SirsiDynix now. Then, if the need for hosting arises, SirsiDynix will work to get a given library's system - for staff and patrons alike - up and running on a hosted basis as soon as possible. These customers, most likely in Texas and Louisiana, should consult their SirsiDynix Customer Support Web sites or call 1-800-325-0888, ext. 337.

For libraries already affected by Hurricane Katrina
For SirsiDynix customer libraries affected by Katrina three weeks ago, which have back-ups of their data in hand, hosting services are available immediately. These customers should also consult their SirsiDynix Customer Support Web sites or call 1-800-325-0888, ext. 337.

“We're aware that library facilities that house servers may be severely damaged or even destroyed, while one or more outlying branch facilities remain fully functional,” said Mike Casale, SirsiDynix vice president of Client Care. “That's why the hosting option can be so helpful - libraries can continue to serve their users during a time when having access to information is such a critical need. That's a benefit in addition to simply securing the library's valuable data for long-term use.”

Other relief efforts
In addition to the Emergency Hosting and Consulting Services, SirsiDynix and its user community have undertaken a number of other efforts to aid SirsiDynix libraries along the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. These efforts include special initiatives to assist with PC and Internet access for affected libraries and communities, collection of replacement library materials, and leadership in a Library Adoption Program, in which one or more libraries “adopt” and assist a damaged or destroyed library.

Within days of the storm, SirsiDynix contacted Florida customers who have experience in restoring library operations after multiple hurricanes. Their unique insights helped the company formulate a list of recovery FAQs, offering Gulf libraries proven and practical advice on how to get systems up and running again. These disaster recovery FAQs are accessible through SirsiDynix customer Web sites. Plans are also in place to develop a series of Webinars, offering a convenient, cost-effective means for sharing this disaster-recovery expertise.

SirsiDynix is communicating with the Mississippi Library Commission, the State Libraries of Louisiana and Alabama, and individual libraries to determine additional ways of meeting specific needs. The company is also coordinating with affected libraries to determine where it could donate PCs, and even possibly Internet capabilities, for use by library staff, and particularly for communities where people are in dire need of access to Web-accessible resources and information.

SirsiDynix users groups have also taken action to assist with the immediate needs of affected libraries. When Louisiana libraries outside the affected areas needed extra PCs to support the large numbers of evacuees pouring into their libraries, announcements were posted to the SirsiDynix users listservs, and the need was filled within 24 hours. The same offer has been extended to Mississippi libraries.

For customers facing Hurricane Rita, SirsiDynix will pursue similar initiatives if and when the need arises.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Toto, We're not in Dilbert anymore...

This isn't your mother's office humor. My new filing technique is unstoppable is wildly profane, but universally true!

Read the comic.
Play the game.
Buy the book.

Best-Bet ROI: Public Libraries

Recent studies in Florida and South Carolina confirm that public libraries are economic engines pumping major financial benefits into their communities, directly and indirectly. Public libraries generate significant savings for individuals, families, businesses and institutions such as local schools, while also creating a ripple effect by increasing job creation, wages for all residents, the regional gross product and property values. More...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Nothing happier than a water-dog in a creek

I know I don't usually post personal stuff but we had so much fun taking Chrissy, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, to a nearby creek this morning! She's such a beautiful, good dog. Fully recovered from her failed pregnancy and resulting surgery, but she still thinks she needs all that attention...

For a solid hour this dog waded back and forth, scooping water as she went.

Of course afterward we did the whole SUV, dog, and carport wash deal. That's ok, it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning...


Friday, September 16, 2005

Tutorial: Use Risk Management to Bolster Volunteer Recruitment

If you depend on volunteers READ THIS!

Very nicely done guidelines for hiring and managing volunteers from


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Unique Inside Look at the Redstone Arsenal Library

While the web services offer 24-hour convenience from any location, there is still no substitute for a trip to their site. Three floors of information await any who make the trip. The first floor, Open Literature, houses journals, Internet access and information, reference materials and books. Offices are housed on the second floor. The third floor, Documents, is home to classified, restricted and limited information. These materials with soon include the files on the ended Comanche project, which are currently being processed into RSIC. Some of the information housed on the third floor of RSIC is not available anywhere else. Because of the restrictions on such material, working with a librarian is crucial to finding what you need on the third floor. More...
The Redstone Scientific Information Center is located on the Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, and serves the Army work force, retirees and contractors, Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Space and Missile Defense Command. The library was featured in today's Huntsville Times.

Nominations for Library Support Staff Travel Grants


The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is pleased to announce that nominations are being accepted for the 2006 Sage Library Support Staff Travel Grants. Underwritten by a generous contribution from Sage Publications, the Library Support Staff Travel Grants (six to be awarded) make it possible for library support staff to attend the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference to be held in the summer of 2006.

The travel grants cover the expense of attending the conference, including airfare, three nights lodging, and conference registration, up to $1,000 for each recipient. Library Support Staff who currently are employed in a full time support staff position, have a minimum of three years of experience in an area of technical services (acquisitions, cataloging, collection development/management, preservation of library materials, serials), and have not previously attended an ALA annual conference are eligible for the grants. Applicants need not be members of ALA or ALCTS in order to be eligible.

Successful candidates will be required to submit a brief report describing their experiences at the annual conference. This report will be published in the post-conference issue of the /ALCTS Newsletter Online/ and also will be shared with the sponsor. The ALCTS Membership Committee will provide mentoring for each recipient.

To apply, send a letter, brief resume and a short statement (ca. 250 words) outlining why attending the 2006 ALA Annual Conference would be beneficial. A letter of support from the applicant’s supervisor, indicating the employer’s support for the application also is required. Applications and the supervisor’s letter must be submitted in electronic format, with all parts emailed as Word attachments. Please send all documents to: Dale Swensen, Sage Jury. For questions, please contact Harriet Lightman, chair, Sage Jury.

*The deadline for nominations and supporting materials is December 1, 2005. *Successful candidates will be announced on the ALCTS Web site beginning February 1, 2006. The ALCTS office will coordinate travel arrangements and registration. For additional information on the grants, visit the ALCTS Web site at

(Submitted by Rhonda Marker, Rutgers University Libraries and member of the award jury.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

LIS Publishes September Articles

  • Delumeau, Andrea. "Time Management for Library Professionals."  Discusses the special circumstances in which we find ourselves stretched as library staff.
  • Hourston, Shelley. "The Resilient Librarian."  One thing is certain...things always change.
  • Moll, Joy Weese. "Meet Me at the Placement Center."  Insider tips if you use ALA's Placement Center during convention.
  • Stevenson-Moudamane, Veronica L. C. "Growing Your Talent Tree: Practical Tips for New Professionals."  Great career-management guide for those choosing to grow!
  • Friday, September 09, 2005

    The Geaux Library Project Needs Your Help!

    Please pass on to anyone you know or any listserv you are on ....

    Dear Librarians, Information Professionals and other Friends,

    The Geaux Library Project will attempt to meet the information needs at hurricane evacuee shelters around Louisiana and beyond. Using computers and networking equipment donated to the Red Cross and others by large commercial and local IT companies, we will be setting up small computer labs at Red Cross shelters and staffing them with librarians and other trained volunteers.

    Our pilot locations in Louisiana will include the Gonzales, Baton Rouge, and Acadiana (Lafayette) areas. We need your help!

    Specifically, we have openings for the following volunteer positions:

    On-site positions

    Geaux Getters
    You will do an initial needs assessment on the shelter(s) in your area. You will be provided with a questionnaire to determine the information necessary for the project. This will require you to visit the shelter physically and in put your findings into a web-based form.

    Geaux Coordinators
    You will be responsible for determining and assigning the necessary amount of volunteers for shelter(s) that they oversee. Communications will take place over the phone, online, and possibly in person. Coordinators may need to periodically visit the shelter site to determine adequacy of resources. Coordinators can also double as Geaux Librarians.

    Geaux Librarians
    You will be asked to supervise a small network of computers and volunteers in a shelter. This may include: reference, referring in-depth questions to our searcher network, data entry, instruction on computer use to a population with very limited computer skills, coordinating computer usage times among patrons, opening and/or closing the computer area, basic technical support i.e. turning on computer and maintaining a printer and/or fax machine, other duties as they arise. Shifts are flexible.

    You will need to be available to do anything the Geaux Librarians or Geaux Coordinators need you to do.

    Geaux Techs
    Hardware and network techs will be needed to troubleshoot any issues that may come up at the various sites, and setup new shelter computers. Some of the work may be done remotely depending on the issue.

    Geaux Couriers
    You will drive equipment and supplies from a pickup point to the shelters. This can be a one time job or you can volunteer to do it more often. We will specify the locations as they come up. We have an immediate need for a Geaux Courier to bring equipment from Lafayette to Gonzales or Baton Rouge!

    Remote Positions

    Geaux Speed Searcher
    You will be issued a login ID and password that will give you access to questions posted by onsite librarians. You may work on these answers and view other answers until a notice has been posted that no more are needed. This may be done anytime, anywhere, and our only request is, in accordance with the ALA Code of Ethics, to respect the confidentiality of these questions.

    Geaux Writer
    You will write content for the website as needed such as policies, volunteer position descriptions, link descriptions, etc... Experience in writing clear, easy to read information in a must.

    Geaux Webmaster
    You will maintain the website. You must have experience in using a variety of web programming languages and using database driven websites.

    Everything is completely voluntary at this time, but the satisfaction you receive will be helping hurricane Katrina victims by doing what you know how to do better than anyone else!

    For more information and further description of volunteer opportunities, please see our website. Go there to fill out the volunteer signup form to become part of this much needed project.

    We are also accepting Donations through the website. Click on the For Donors section to see what items we need and how to donate.

    We will be putting out instructions on how to start your own Geaux Library in your area soon, so keep watching the website for more information. The website is just now functional to get more volunteers and donations. We will add more information when we get some help.

    For our sanity, please do NOT respond by e-mail! Use the website to communicate with us.

    Via Catalogablog

    Open Source equals Open Learning

    You might not even realize you're learning programming with Extropia! From Introduction to Web Design to Writing COM components in Perl, these are the types of free online tutorials in which new careers are made.

    Also check out their "About" page with the headline, "A case study in open source software." Great background on the whole open source movement.

    I just love the smell of coding in the morning...


    LexisNexis Opens Access to Katrina News

    Research Buzz reports that Lexis-Nexis, the print archive giant, now allows free article retrieval of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Also included are wire reports, TV transcripts. Check out

    For news and articles publicly available via RSS visit our Hurricane Katrina Live Coverage Aggregator.


    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Vint Cerf, a Founding Father of the Internet, Joins Google as Chief Internet Evangelist

    Best job title ever.

    And deservedly so...

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – September 8, 2005 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced that it hired Vinton (Vint) Cerf, the longtime technologist who is widely known as a "founding father" of the Internet, as Chief Internet Evangelist.

    "Vint Cerf is clearly one of the great technology leaders of our time," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt of Cerf, who co-designed the TCP/IP protocols that were used to develop the Internet's underlying architecture. "His vision for technology helped create entire industries that have transformed many parts of our lives. We are honored to welcome him to Google."

    Cerf will continue his leadership in the Internet community, and help Google build network infrastructure, architectures, systems, and standards for the next generation of Internet applications. More...

    Link via Search Engine Watch.

    12 Tips for Creating Better Documents

    First published in November of 2004, this Microsoft training module includes a webcast links to further, free training. Still very relevant, check it out for your next Word project!

    Via my inbox


    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Craiglist and Information as News

    From Open Source News. The podcast available here.

    The best reporting in the world — no hyperbole, the best reporting in the world — this week came from the web division of the New Orleans Times Picayune, Information — missing person reports, safe and alive person reports — became news. And it became a source, even, for rescue teams, more accurate than anything else they had to go on.

    Craigslist, after Katrina, became a forum for finding the missing and housing the saved, and what you find on Craigslist are stories as compelling as anything on CNN. Maybe what communities want in a time of crisis is good information, and maybe detailed, accurate information makes the best story. Craig and Jeff helped invent two new ways of collecting and distributing information; Jon is perfecting it right now in the Crescent City.

    -Jon Donley, Editor,
    -Craig Newmark, Founder and Customer Service Representative, Craigslist
    Author, Craigblog
    -Jeff Jarvis, Author, Buzzmachine

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    UA SLIS Reflects on the Principle of Least Effort

    An insight into what they're teaching at Library school at the University of Alabama:
    Given the evidence supporting the “Principle of Least Effort,” library professionals are obligated to confront it. They can pass the buck or accept responsibility themselves, but they cannot ignore this tendency. Read more...

    From LS 500 Articles Summaries for Blog 16

    Job Hunting? Try LibrarySupportStaffJobs

    As usual, I'm behind on site updates and have been planning on adding a significant resource for library support staff. LibrarySupportStaffJobs, a new blog which handily lists job openings for library support staff, library assistants, library technicians, and library clerks.

    The site is updated almost daily with new job postings and is presented in a clean, readable manner. It really could be great source of information for library much so that I've added, with permission, a digest for the site on my sidebar!


    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Updates on Libraries and Staff Members Affected by Hurricane Katrina

    Click here for updates from the American Library Association concerning libraries in the Gulf Coast impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

    ALA also notes that they are "monitoring the situation in New Orleans as it relates to planning for the ALA Annual Conference scheduled for June 22-28, 2006."

    I also want to mention that I'm proud, but not surprised, that so many staff members and libraries have offered donations or services for the relief effort. Especially notable is Geaux Library Recovery, a "means to solicit and recruit a means for information professionals from around the country to network and volunteer to help with library and archive recovery and clean-up and to help information professionals and their families recover."


    U.S. Patriot Act faces legal challenge in Connecticut

    BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (Reuters) - A controversial clause in the U.S. Patriot Act that allows authorities to search citizens' personal records faced its first public challenge in federal court on Wednesday as a library sought to lift a gag order on a FBI probe into its records.

    The case stems from an FBI request for records of a library patron without identifying the threat posed by the person, said an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union, representing the unidentified library, in U.S. District Court.

    The library chose to challenge the order.

    Testing the Open Blog Concept

    In the interest of providing more access to library staff, I'm going to open posting via email on this blog. I know that there are others out there who care about the issues related to being support staff personnel in a library, and can say things more eloquently than I. The "Open Blog" is a powerful concept and might prove to be valuable here.

    Doing this will sacrifice the technorati tags and the categorizing, but I'm thinking the benefits will shine through. I'm really hoping that the site can become more useful to anyone who wants to blog about library work-life but doesn't have an outlet.

    To post, simply send an email to librarysupporter.guest at or click on this link with your post title as the subject line and body as your message.

    I will be moderating these posts for a while to avoid spam and possible formatting issues. I've added the information to the sidebar, as well as a contact link in case there are questions...

    Anyway, we'll see if this works!



    Testing email to blog functionality

    tap, tap, tap
    Is this thing on?