Saturday, January 24, 2009

Uhh... can we institute this?

I saw this article on the blog Bibliophile Bullpen:

"Unreturned Library Book Leads to Woman's Arrest"

Now... the author of the blog seems to think that there is something wrong with this. I honestly don't see it - I think this should be implemented at NU.

Please, pretty please?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Google Blog: Libraries

The most recent Google Blog Post was about libraries and how they are incorporating Google Apps into their searching.

The part about how Illinois State Library has created a searchable course information search was of particular interest. It reminded me of our syllabus project (a project that I still think is a brilliant idea and something that I have not seen before) - if they were more searchable, would more people use them?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I've never Tweeted before. Never. I really don't get it - and that is coming from someone who successfully downloaded the Windows 7 beta (yeah, it really has nothing to do with tweeting, but I am just so proud of myself!).

However, I just read a blog entry from Collections 2.0 called "Talking or Listening," and I am convinced that I have to finally give in.

In this entry, Steven Harris suggests many different ways Twitter can be an asset to a Library. Personally, one idea stuck out - Twittering the new books we have added to our collection! Something like that would be an easy way to remind our loyal patrons that we are here.

As he is quick and correct to point out, the goal of a library is to get the patrons engaged in a conversation with us. This is not something Twitter can do. Twitter seems more a way to remind people that we are here to talk. The next step of actually coming in is up to them.

But again, I have never Twittered. My goal for the month is to get an account and see what all the fuss is all about so I can judge it more fairly. Maybe, like Steven, my skepticism will change to adoration.

**** UPDATE: Username is HeatherVM - follow me, I have no followers!!!****

Creating a Customer Focused Library

I've had this file sitting on my desk top for a long time, and tonight I got around to reading it. It is a slide show/presentation, called "Best Practices for the Customer-Focused Library" and created by the Metropolitan Library System (Chicago).

Most of the reading was not really applicable to us, meaning that we are not a massive public library system in an urban area (go figure), but one thing did strike me:

"Patrons are utilizing the library as meeting and study space, not just for items, computers or services. Allotting space for study and socializing needs is important when creating an overall atmosphere of service. Patrons using the building are easier to convert to users of library services than those who do not enter."

Even small academic libraries need public space to bring the people in - then, only after they are here, we hook them with books!

This is something that the Hurst Library has mentioned in every single musing about a new library. This seems like old news to us - go team!

New Uses for Kindle

I have been skeptical about the Kindle and other such electronic-book-reading-gizmos, but this article does bring up an interesting new usage: searchable text. In the posting, "A Kindle Trick Changes the Reading Experience," the author uses the search to locate an overused phrase in the book he was reading.

I wonder how/if this will affect the publishing world... if all text is searchable, then you have to be even more careful of what you say. Is this a positive advancement or a step in the wrong direction (to a continually commercialized literary experience)? That I don't know.

As one commenter suggests, it is like a Biblical Concordance but for every book. What would this mean for literature classes?

Honestly, as one may suppose, I have been a long-term supporter of the tactile sensation of a book and the entire reading experience; however, I am intrigued about the potential meaning of the Kindle. This would be a handy function for textbooks, among other things.