Thursday, December 6, 2007

In addition

When Helene Blowers spoke she gave concrete examples of how libraries are using Library 2.0 right now. One of these examples is the meebo widget being utilized in a catalogue. How does this work? Well, David Lee King of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library has a meebo widget set up so that anytime a patron searches the catalogue and gets the "sorry not found" window there is a meebo widget there along with the library's hours and telephone number. Patrons may make easy contact with a librarian. Check out David's blog post and on the blog post he invites you to contact him directly (davidleeking at gmail dot com)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Helene Blowers comes to Suffolk

Yesterday (Dec 4.) we had the pleasure of again listening to Helene Blowers speak, but this time here in Suffolk at SCLA's CATS annual meeting. Ms. Blowers reiterated and went into greater detail over what web & library 2.0 actually is. For those who were unable to attend and are interested here is a slide presentation by Ms Blowers :

Helene also blogs at: Library yesterdays presentation she reiterated her mantra which is "give yourself and others permission to play"...


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We now have RSS set up and for those in a chatty mood ...check out the Language Discussion Wiki!


Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Not Stealing It's Sharing :)

Please feel free to incorporate any of the ideas or information you garner from this blog onto yours! This is an informational blog for you Suffolk County Libraries!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Graying of the Internet

One of the sessions that I didn't have time to blog in Monterey had to do with seniors and their use of the Internet. Allen M. Kleinman from the Old Bridge (N.J.) Public Library put on a good show at the conference discussing serving and training seniors. Check out his postings on Web Junction under Patron Services, Services to Older Adults:

22% of people 65 and older use the Internet.

Some web sites he suggested: with users over 45. Clean, simple, nonthreatening results.

SeniorNet--the first site to say that seniors should get on the net. It's a pay as you go training site. social networking site for seniors.

Allen will soon be hosting a seniors WII tournament at his library. Way cool!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


YEA!!! Now off to eat's tuff but someones got to do it....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FOGGED IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So no one told us that Monterey is prone to fog. Actually, it shouldn't be happening this time of year. It was all fun until we got to the airport and were told that we wouldn't be traveling tonight. At that point, Sam got the phone call from United Airlines telling us the same thing. How efficient of them!!! So, tomorrow we're going to try to fly standby and hope for the best. At worst we'll be arriving Friday morning. Will I make my 12:00 ferry to Bridgeport?

We're at the Comfort Inn which rocks with free WiFi!!!!!!

Library Chic signing off for now.


Mashups: Are an exciting genre of interative Web applications that draw upon content retrieved from external data sources to create entirely new and innovative services. They are a hallmark of the second generation of Web applications informally known as Web 2.0
(as defined by IBM retrieved October 31, 2007)

Ok so we get what mashups are but what’s more important is that there are online tools that allow us to create and customize our own mashups!

Google’s My Maps
Mircosoft’s Popfly
Yahoo’s Pipes

Earthquake, What Earthquake?

Sam and I were blogging so diligently that we didn't feel the earthquake. Seriously, folks.
30 aftershocks recorded after 5.6 quake hits near Alum Rock

Rants and Raves

Rave: Monterey is a beautiful, wonderful place to hold a conference.

Rant: The Conference Center and associated hotels don't have free WiFi. Huh??
Information Today paid a service to have WiFi in the conference center, but too many people tried to connect, and many couldn't get on. Next time I come, I'm staying at a cheap hotel with free WiFi.

Rant: Why is there a conference CD (Win a free portable CD player). Huh? Why not downloadables?

Rave: The younger generation of librarians is cool, hip, and awesome. For those of you out there who are the same, this is the conference for you.

Rave: Stephen M. Cohen, one of Suffolk's original Live Librarians, was a presenter here. What's the latest in RSS feeds? Stephen knows.

The Future of Reference Service

Finally!! Someone with a positive outlook about Reference 2.0. Joe Janes from the University of Washington is awesome. Funny, positive, and really smart.

First, we must rethink reference services, change our thinking about reference.

Everything will eventually be in digital format. Google’s goal is to have “all the books.” We are used to vertical searching, but horizontal searching, looking at everything briefly, is the new way of searching. Federated searching as well . The University of Washington's default search is World Cat. There are lots of ways to get at stuff at every level: book, song, poem, word level, image level…..Wholes and parts are universally accessible. So how do we insert reference services into this paradigm? From a 1930 book on reference service: They will choke and die before they tell you what they want. LOL

We have to be more easily found without giving up who we are and what we do. We need presence beyond the walls of the library. We need to be in and out of the library at the same time. We need to be somewhere and everywhere. We still need to provide physical space for the community: social, study, etc. When the stuff has physical form, it has to live somewhere. As the stuff becomes digital, more people will want it that way. The library has to be everywhere. It is sometimes easier to use the library from home. For the people who are doing deep research and want quality and authority, we do full blown reference and research. That's where we shine. For now print is our secret weapon. As the years go by, print becomes less of a strategic advantage. There will be few solely digital libraries. The role of print will decrease, but it will still be there. So keep weeding the reference collection, and let it circulate. The idea is METHOD OVER MATERIAL.

For the quick and transitory needs (chat, brief encounter), “move them forward.” Give them a tip, give them what they need. If they need the next step, go for it.
For the tendril people, help them tame the network. Train them, be on the network, lead by example. Youth must lead.

For the nonusers, leave them alone. But let them know you’re there. Tell people what you do and why you matter. We are a time and a money saver.

Whatever we do for a patron online, we have to do better than if they came into the library. When they visit the building, it’s harder to leave. It's easy on the web to click away from the library.

There are more people getting more information. We need to help that be more effective. Should we be confident in what we do? Yes. But we shouldn’t be complacent. The web gives us more and better opportunities for us to provide better service.

Promoting Play Through Online Discovery

Five Weeks to a Social Library and Learning 2.0 are two different online learning programs that were developed to help library staff provide new services. The focus was to developed staff members’ knowledge of web.2.0 tools through utilizing and discussing the social networking tools and thus becoming knowledge players.

What are some ways that one can become a knowledge player?
Helen Blowers The Public Services Technology Director for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the developer of Learning 2.0 suggests:

First, Take 15 minutes (at least), a day to review the information that is out there.

She suggests you view these 5 blogs if you don’t know where to start,

  • Librarian in Black – Great for a review of emerging technology and how that technology relates directly to libraries.
  • Tech Crunch – This is tech heavy and she suggests that you just glance through it and do selective reading.
  • What I learned Today – Great reflections on learning.
  • Wired – The tech featured in Wired may not be as cutting edge as the tech featured in Tech Crunch, but it will still give the reader a better heads up on the technology out there vs. main stream media
  • Learning 2.1 – is the progression from Learning 2.0 and focuses on 3 new items a month allowing you to become extremely familiar with the items.

Second, have a knowledge playbox. When you come across something that is of interest but you can’t look at it in-depth because of your current work flow, tag it using a social network site and look at it later.

Thirdly, Give yourself and others permission to play.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


This was a fabulous presentation by Sarah Houghton-Jan ( and Aaron Schmidt ( (Check it out at Noticie I didn't tell you what libraries they physically work in. It doesn't matter because they do so much outside of their library walls. As they said, online, everyone's patrons are your patrons. Free is good.

Notes from the presentation: Make your web page a 2 way street. Let them share opinions, register for a card online. Find out where your customers are spending time and go there too. Be clear on your services and what you are marketing.

Other tips:

Search engine findability. Make sure your site is at the top of the list. Make your url easy and fun. Buy ad words form Google. Move out into the minor search engines.

Make sure you're listed in the online library directory listings. Make sure the info is correct.

List your library information on the Wikipedia page for your town or area.

Put your library on Wikimapia.

Put your programs and events on any community event sites such as Eventful.

Look for local blogs to interact with. Create a local event or group in Flickr.
Act as a person not as a library.

Interact and respond on social review web sites such as Yelp and Judy's Book.

Create a profile for your library on Myspace, Facebook, and Flickr.

Check out the Contr Costa County Library web site at Give people a reason to come back to your site. Use local talent in creating your web site.

Check out Bookspace at Hennepin County Library. It's really amazing, but it takes 30 people to maintain.

Participate in "Slam the Boards" on the 10th of every month. Librarians join in to answer questions for free.

Push information out and personalize it.

Most importantly, find out what your community is doing online and get involved in that. Second Life? Facebook? Flickr? Make your presence known.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mobile Search

Mobile Search was presented by Megan Fox the Web and Electronic Resources Librarian for Simmons College and Gary Price the Director of Resources for Mobile searchers are goal orientated and generally want to view key content. 50% of mobile searchers are 1 word. These searchers come under three different catagoiries:

1. Local search, i.e. location of hotels, ATM's...

2. Ready Ref, i.e. stock quotes, definitions...

3.Rich content, i,e, rintones, pics...

Mobile Web vs. Transcoded Web

There are 2 ways to view web content on mobile phones. One can transcode with such sites like skweezer. This site takes something like the NY Times and literally squeezes it so the mobile user can view it on their phone. The second way to view is actual pages made with mobile search in mind. The domain name for these are .mobi. If you're trying to find sites with this domain name try searching Find Mobi .

Photo Mobile Searching and more...

Semapedia allows you to go around the world and take pictures of barcodes. Once you have taken a picture with you picture phone you send the picture to the site and you will recieve a text back with the wikipedia information about the item that has been barcoded. How about spoken voice? You call 1800 555 Tell and you tell them what you need to know and they text you the answer back!!!! For those of you (like me) who are always lost try Loki ,which uses wifi signals to find your location and get you directions...

Opening Keynote: Lee Rainie, Director of the PEW Internet and American Life Project

Lee Ranie is the founding Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. He is indeed a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker who seems to have developed great respect for librarians and libraries. We should all look at his “Home Media Ecology Slide“ which he updated recently. We will attempt to find a link to it.

Mr. Rainie began his presentation with the eight hallmarks from the most recent PEW study Pew Survey on Adult Internet Use (.pdf).

1 Broadband is at the center.
2 Content creators
3.Wireless mobility
4. Ordinary citizens can be publishers, movie makers, performers, etc.
5. All content creators have an audience
6. Many are sharing what they know—collective intelligence
7. People are customizing their online experiences to meet their own needs using web 2.0 tools.
8. People use these technologies in different ways.

He then proceeded to talk a bout the levels of expertise of the users. High end users consist of 4 distinct groups: Omnivores who do everything on the web; connectors who use the web but do not create content; lackluster vets who are older, white, and upscale. They have all of the bells and whistles, but don’t like using it. Finally there are the productivity enhancers who use the web only at work.

Middle Users consist of 2 groups. The first group loves their cell phones, but they have no broadband at home. The cost of new technology prices them out of the market. They are in their 30’s and are often minorities.

Group 2 is connected but hassled. They find technology annoying.

Low End Users fall into 4 subgroups: Inexperienced experimenters who are late adopters of technology; Then comes light but satisfied. They check their e-mail; The indifferent don’t like technology, and finally, there is the off the network people who don’t use the Internet at all. They are generally older adults. Nearly ½ the population is not on the net.

Our challenge as librarians is to meet the needs of all of these groups. We should be confident in what we already know about serving the library needs of our customers. But we also have to think outside the box.

P.S. We’re really just writing about Lee Rainie so he will mention us in his next presentation…lol

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Games, Learning and Libraries Preconference

So I came to this preconference to hear about the "educational" aspects of gaming. The first thing I learned is that I am a gamer, because I do occasionally play games on my computer, my daughter's Nintendo DS and even my cell phone when I'm bored. Who knew? In fact more people play online games than do social networking. Even more surprising is that the largest group of "gamers" is women over age 40!

Just as traditional board games have an educational/literacy benefit, so do video and computer games. Eye hand coordination, problem solving, reading, interpreting, pattern recognization are all skills that are practiced in computer games. In addition, there are team building aspects as well as community building opportunities in gaming free play or tournaments.

Some interesting statistics:

80% of public libraries allow patrons to play games on library computers. 78% of the participants said that the reputation of the library improved from gaming. And most remarkably 76% of gaming participants returned to the library to do something else.

The Bloomington Public Library has a room for people to create their own games, a Digital Creation Lab. The Ann Arbor Public Library will be opening their tournament software to all libraries next year. That means people from all over the country can participate in tournaments.

The other thing we have to think about is how our other services relate are viewed by gamers. How boring is a traditional online catalog to a gamer? At the same time we need to remember our more traditional clientel and give people choices about how they are viewing information (text or visual).

If you're going to host a gaming session or tournament, make it larger than life
(screen size should be bigger than at home), and dark for for more fun. Also bring traditional materials for people to check out after the event.

After learning about gaming, we got to play!! I just played tennis with someone using the Wii console. Even though I have an injured knee, I was able to play tennis using the remote. This has real positive implications for people with physical disabilities. A remote can really even the playing field!!

Wikis - Basics, Tools and Strategies

Hi all!
I just went to a GREAT intro to Wikis this morning! This program was presented by Meredith Farkas the Distance Learning Librarian at Norwich University and the creator and administrator of the Library Success wiki. She spoke about the differences between wikis,(which by the way, if you didn't know is Hawaiian for quick) and Blogs. Hosting on your server vs hosted by a software company and what wiki software to use? ....So you ask what are the answers?...Well that's the thing, it depends on what the collaborative/community needs are...but the Wiki Matrix can help you choose what's right for the wiki community you are trying to create. Some popular wikis hosted by software companies are: Wetpaint, seedwiki & pbwiki (Pb will ask you what the wiki is being used attract educators they have a choice for educational use, this allows use for educational purposes minus the commercial adds) There's more to discuss ...but to start check out the Library Success Wiki (which has a lot to offer about library related subjects) and the Wiki Matrix ...2 keys sites!

Denver Airport

Look at Sam with her coffee! What a surprise! Denver has Starbucks, but what happened to all of the World Series paraphernalia?

Half way there

Here we are looking at Lake Michigan from the airplane. The weather was much nicer in the middle of the country.

LaGuardia Airport

So we left Long Island from LaGuardia on Saturday afternoon in the pouring rain. We were happy to leave the yukky weather.

Friday, October 26, 2007

On Our Way

Tomorrow's the big day. We fly to Monterey. Oh, a rhyme!! I'm looking forward to my preconference on gaming. What is gaming these days? Is there some inherent value other than entertainment? How out of it am I? There are lots of blogs and wikis out there with info. So much to learn.

Library Chic

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sam and I will be posting about our trip to the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterey. Yes, we are lucky to be going. There is also a conference-wide wiki at

To Start

Just getting ready for the conference! Stay tuned for more posts from Monterey!