Thursday, May 31, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
flickr is for online photo storage, a photo organizer, a large photo database, a resources for photo sharing, and a place for social networking. After explaining its inner workings, Shelly pointed out its unique qualities when compared to similar services. flickr includes social aspects, sets and slideshows, favorites, fun tools, and Creative Commons licensing options. It can be used to share library events, share marketing ideas, and meet other librarians.You can access and experiment with your own uses for flickr at http://www.flickr.com
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Overlap among the various databases is good for organization home pages, major pages, and frequently visited sites but not so good for deeply buried pages, forums, and social networking pages. Greg also touched upon "search switching" for searching across search engines, "shortcuts" for quick answers, "questions & answers" where the searcher submits a question in natural language, and a variety of search features in the various databases. Some search engine betas include SearchMash, AskX, and Alpha Beta. Greg always does an excellent job with these sessions and I strongly recommend attending his sessions in the future.
Greg's PowerPoint Presentation is available at <http://show.zoho.com/public/notess/07-mla-ppt2>.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Here's a sample of one I made using Gabcast.com
Later boys and girs.
The discussion returned to the topic of how we are using technology in our libraries. Some in our group bemoaned the fact that their libraries were basically locked down with regards to free access to the system for experimentation with the latest technologies and ideas in presenting information. The problem seemed to involve security and firewalls.
Laurel has been using blogs to get her information across to professionals at her institution. She discussed the value of blogs in the health sciences and mentioned some of the blogging software which she found valuable in building her sites. If any of us would like to create our own blogs, Laurel has offered to walk us through some of the problems.
Choosing a provider for your blog depends upon what you want your blog to do. Some providers include Blogspot, WordPress, Xanga, and LiveJournal. Laurel also recommended "mooshing" the names of blogs which may contain sensitive information (e.g. sjhdiabetes) to hide the blogs from "outsiders" when necessary. Having created a blog for physicians to maintain currency on some of the medical literature without getting buy-in from the physicians, Laurel used her site as an example of what not to do. She emphasized the necessity of discovering the needs of one's clients and what they are willing to make use of before creating a resource which they may not use.
This year's title, "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman, is sure to provoke some great discourse and dialog. Even if you have not read this fun New York Time's Best-seller, do come on down to brush up on your Mr. Neil Gaiman before he speaks Saturday morning.
Begin meeting at the Hot Tub (in the Colonial Red Lion) around 915-930ish, swimming attire not required, just come have a great time. Bring a drink, bring a friend, bring your rapier wit and intellect!
Limes are welcome!
I'll be seeing you, in hot water... :o)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
As a child in a self-described dysfunctional family, Nancy escaped to the local library to travel to the other worlds that books allowed her to flee. She read a great deal, under the guidance of her mentor Miss Whitehead, at the public library and under the spell of books and Miss Whitehead became a children's librarian. During her years of reading and getting others to read she came to realize that "through books and reading we can have any number of lives."
Nancy shared the adventures of writing her books, Booklust, More Booklust (aka Booklust II: The Morning After), and Bookcrush. She stressed the importance of the first line of a book and gave various examples of books she fell in love with after reading just the first line. Nancy inspired us all to continue our love of books and reading and to not give them up too easily in this age of the World Wide Web.
Important points to remember when doing RA:
- "It's not about you!"
- You don't have to have loved a book or even read it to suggest it to a patron. In fact it's okay if you hated the book.
- Ask patron to tell you about a book that they liked. In 30-45 seconds you can determine what doorway (story, character, setting, or language) the patron entered through.
- Give the patron three books. One that is very similar, one that is closely related, and finally one that is a bit of a stretch; from a different section of the library even. They shoud share the same doorway.
- Remember that mood can affect patron preferences. Ask "What are you in the mood for today?"
The other point that Nancy brought home to me today was that while the newly published books get the prime real estate, "a new book is any book that the patron hasn't read."
Personally, I find that I enter books most often through the character and language doorways. Sometimes when I haven't read fiction in a while a good story can grab me too. One of my recent favorites was Life of Pi by Yann Martel (character).
What doorway do you enter books through most often? What have been some of your recent favorites? Post in the comments.
Christine led us through an overview of MontanaLawHelp.org and its resources. This site provides valuable assistance in areas for Families and Kids, Public Benefits, Consumer, Housing, American Indian Issues, Employment, Domestic Violence, Seniors, and the Legal System sections. It also includes legal information for the public, local listings of legal aid offices, local community resources, a directory of local courts, automated forms (coming soon), and a LiveHelp chat service.
Tammy continued with an overview of the State Law Library of Montana site, providing a variety of services and resources. Here one can find laws by topic, forms, statutes and rules, links to free Web sites, and suggested books, Montana Supreme Court Cases, opinions, and briefs, and a Law Library Newsfeed. She ended with other resources available through the Web and at the State Law Library.
Christine concluded the presentation with an overview of the Montana Legal Services Association, "a federally and privately funded program that provides free legal assistance in civil cases to low-income people." She also explained who qualifies for this service, the types of legal assistance offered, and what the service cannot do. A hotline for information (1-800-666-6899) and brochures covering 35 legal topics are also available.
Susan Ockert, Senior Research Economist for the state, also went throught the state's available data sources and walked us all through it. I'm continually impressed with the amount of data the state has on it's website. I spend a lot of time helping business students find demographics, etc. and I can tell their impressed with what their state offers. http://www.ceic.mt.gov/
p.s. Just outside the conference room there's a rowdy group kicking off the new Montana Librarians Calendar. Sounds like fun, I hope someone blogs it!!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I just learned stuff about Google that I had not taken the time to explore before. Much wonderful stuff in the advanced search area. There is never enough time to really learn all the wonderful info that is available:(
One web site we talked about was http://del.icio.us/ , a great way to develop a portable bookmark collection and fined even more places you want to bookmark.
The below info was from the Business Resources part of the class by Christy donaldson
Ohh, I did not know the Occupational Outlook Handbook was online! http://www.bls.gov/oco
Note to self: Buy Business Plans Handbook, Gale Group and Small Business Sourcebook for library.
Some other good ref questions: Can you answer them?
There was this poem and he died
Is the house I live in a former red light house?
What's this dead bug I found in my washing machine?
Picture or plan for a turtle trap
What was a rest area in Mineral County named?
Reference and Beyond
My first class and I'm sure I will learn many cool nifty things. So far I've learned about offering food and beverages in the library, cell phone issues and how reference is changing. For instance; the reference desk is now the information desk or the help desk. I like the trend away from library language. Another cool thing is to get librarians out from behind their desks mingling with the great unwashed. Gotta go, class is back in session
AKA Crazy Library Lady
Friday, March 16, 2007
Are you a reader, creative, AND a wiz in the kitchen? Then I have the perfect event for you. An edible book contest! Start thinking about your favorite book--and whether you could turn it into something edible. Look for inspiration here.
Books will be showcased at MLA 2007 with the winner receiving a fabulous prize. With good participation, this could become an annual event--how festive! So come up with your best edible book art. We'll eat it in your honor! Please contact me with any questions, Ljackson@mt.gov.
Participate--it will be much fun. Thanks! Lisa, MLA 2007 Planning Co-Chair