June 30, 2008

Germany Library Study Tour Poster Session

My poster session at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim about the 2007 Germany Library Study Tour went quite well! I had many interested people stop by to discuss it. One person from the goethe institute stopped by and was very interested in the program.


It was great seeing South Carolina so well represented at the ALA Conference in Anaheim! Congrats! Press release.

June 28, 2008

Rock Stars at Gaming Night

I'm so glad i went to the open gaming night here at the ALA conference in Anaheim. It was so much fun. I think this photo depicts what rock starts librarians can be! it was great seeing so many information professionals in action learning about various gaming tools from board games which stimulate critical thinking skills to video games which reinforce reading skills and even to physical games like DDR which keep people active. I think there are many librarians who do not feel gaming in libraries is appropriate and to those people I say, "Get out to a gaming night and see for yourself just how engaging it can be!" Great job Jenny and your ALA team!

June 25, 2008

Google Joins the "Internet for Everyone" Initiative

Ok, just saw this and thought, why isn't the American Library Association a partner in this endeavor?
Like a politician making campaign promises, Google has announced its involvement in the launch of the "Internet for Everyone" campaign. Unlike politicians, we actually know what the campaign is all about from the title and there's a higher chance of Google carrying out this platform than politicians keeping their promises.

The "Internet for Everyone" campaign is based on four principles: Access, Choice, Openness, and Innovation. Yup, that sounds like Google. Here's a brief history.

Google Joins the "Internet for Everyone" Initiative [SearchEngineWatch]
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Library a popular place for children

This is a wonderful newspaper article. Check it out!

Thursday, June 19, 2008 1:21 PM CDT
Staff Writer

Talia and Laterrikha Fleming enjoy reading.

In fact, they like it so much they spent part of Tuesday afternoon outside the Union County Carnegie Library urging people to check out books and read them.

Talia, 10, and Laterrikha, 8, were at the library when they decided to make signs urging passing motorists to “Beep if you like to read.” The girls stood with their signs in front of the library at the corner of South and Mountain streets.

Talia and Laterrikha said they made the signs to remind people to read and encourage them to use the library. They said their favorite part of visiting the library is reading books; Laterrikha says she has five library books at home that she's reading while Talia says she has three. They said they love to come to the library and want others to enjoy it too.

The Union Daily Times > Archives > News > Library a popular place for children

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ALA in Anaheim and Poster Sessions

parliamentary library
Originally uploaded by curtis rogers
Well, this Friday I'll be heading out to ALA in Anaheim! My poster session titled, "From the Dresden Codex to Scanning Robots: The 2007 Germany Library Study Tour" will take place on Sunday from 11am-12:30pm so please stop by and say hello! In this photo is the interior of the Bibliothek des Deutschen Bundestages in Berlin (the parliamentary library). See you in Anaheim!

June 24, 2008

WiFi on American Airlines to ALA?

If you're going to ALA in Anaheim and flying American Airlines, you might be able to blog, IM, and surf the web on your way there and back! Or maybe not... it's just a testing phase and of course, like everything else having to do with air travel will have a separate fee... Darn, just when you were looking forward to answering reference questions on the go!
American Airlines to begin testing inflight broadband on Wednesday

10:39 AM CDT on Tuesday, June 24, 2008

By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News

Some American Airlines Inc. transcontinental passengers will get a chance to browse the Internet in-flight on Wednesday.

The Fort Worth-based carrier and technology provider Aircell LLC said Tuesday that they are planning a dress rehearsal of the service on a round trip flight between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles.

American Airlines to begin testing inflight broadband on Wednesday | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)

It's been a while since I saw this on YouTube but was just reminded of it from a friend in DC. I blogged about it in February of 2007 and thought I'd share it again... Very thought-provoking!

June 19, 2008

my flickr tags

my flickr tags
Originally uploaded by curtis rogers
it's interesting how in a 2.0 sense how ones flickr tags make for some interesting artwork!

Tired of JUST using GOOGLE all the time? Try Dogpile's new widget!

I know, sometimes I get into the habit of ONLY using GOOGLE then thinking, well, if I can't find it in Google, then it's not on the web. I really need to get out of this habit so I was really happy when I found out that Dogpile (which I have not used in forever) now has a desktop widget! Downloading now and I'll give it the old try... hope it works nicely!

Dogpile.com Releases a Searcher's Best Friend, a Desktop Widget

Dogpile.com has released a desktop search widget. The widget features a single-search bar, which blends results from Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com. Dogpile's SearchSpy, which features searches conducted all over the world, is also included on the widget.

But this isn't your average search widget. Dogpile's mascot, Arfie, is featured on the widget and you can pet him and play fetch with him. Awww!

“Offering a little fun with your search is one critical element our team is focused on as we continue to improve Dogpile.com,” said Mark Whidby, director, search product management of InfoSpace, Inc. “Our users have always loved Arfie, and now we’re giving them a way to take him home with them. This widget is the first of many new engaging and useful tools we hope to launch in the coming months. A top priority as we continue to upgrade Dogpile.com is to engage and entertain our users while providing a superior search experience.”

To download the Dogpile widget (and Arfie!), visit www.dogpilewidgetdownload.com.

Dogpile.com Releases a Searcher's Best Friend, a Desktop Widget [SearchEngineWatch]
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June 16, 2008

7 Tips to Reorganizing the Library

fresh management
Originally uploaded by curtis rogers
Sometimes a library just needs some Fresh Management to get things done. It takes fresh and new ideas to make progress. Maybe it's time to reorganize and revitalize! It takes a lot more than 3.50 euros though. Expect for a library reorganization to take up to a year.

1. Hire an outside evaluator to talk to the library staff in groups and get honest input. Have then develop the reorganization plan and help your management team with the implementation. Expect this to run anywhere from $4000 to $10,000 depending upon what you want to accomplish.

2. Look closely at the organizational chart. Ask staff how it could be different, what could be changed, who needs to be doing what. Meet with staff once a month to discuss the progress and get input.

3. Involve others. Host focus groups with patrons and user groups. Involve teens/YA groups.

4. Use the SWOT approach. Brainstorm with staff and focus group participants the library's or a library function's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

5. Consider publicity. Look closely at how you have handled public relations and marketing in the past and figure out where you want to go. Send out regular press releases. Consider email marketing.

6. Look closely at services. Are you offering the services that patrons actually want and need? It may actually be time to stop offering the things that no one wants and switching to something more popular!

7. Reassure. Change is difficult and it takes all of the library's management team to reassure staff on a regular basis what's going on, what may happen, how things might look differently, and most importantly consistently ask for opinions and ideas from all staff.

Looking at how Gen Y Communicates

I love this graphic (from themarketingstudent.com) It's so easy to understand and so true! I do, however, appreciate that phone calling and face to face meetings are still somewhere on the chart... Teen and YA librarians should be very aware that to reach many of this demographic, text marketing and IM service should work quite well! Go to meebo.com and set up your IM account and post the widget to your YA pages. If you need help, IM me! I'll be glad to let you know how to do it.

The Marketing Student | Generation Y Marketing Insights » A Look At How Gen Y Communicates

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Library the place to be as economy falters

Here's a really nice article by Bertram Rantin in The State newspaper (Columbia, SC) about how libraries see an increase in use when the economy "falters" (or in other words is in a recession...)

The State | 06/14/2008 | Rantin: Library the place to be as economy falters

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June 13, 2008

The Youth Bloggers Network - for all you YA Librarians out there...

Although it's quite possible that there aren't that many "real" people reading blogs, for those that do become interested in the medium as a way to communicate with others, that participation often encourages people to transition from being a blog reader to setting up a blog of their own.
This is how YBN can help. The site features a forum for communicating with others young bloggers, a resources section with blogging tutorials, and a YBN blog where anyone is able to guest post.

The Next Generation of Bloggers - ReadWriteWeb

7 tips for Green Marketing and Libraries

green leaves
Originally uploaded by curtis rogers
Does your library want to jump onto the "green" wagon in the marketing arena? It's simple to do because libraries have always been green! Just think about it. Purchasing books, keeping them in one location, caring for them, and re-using them over and over and over. What could be more green than that?

Here are some green library marketing tips:

1. Market that your library is Green via your web site by creating a simple logo and let everyone know that reusing books is green.

2. Come up with a catchy phrase about your library being green such as: Reusing Books is Green! or Reusing Books is good for the Environment! Check out a Book and be Green!

3. Send out a press release telling your community that your library has always supported reusing materials and is now even being more green by _________________.

4. Make sure your photocopiers are set to print double-sided and encourage patrons to print on both sides to cut paper use in half.

5. Print your library brochures and other materials on recycled paper.

6. Prominently display recycle bins around the library and check with your local recycling center about pick up schedules. Get your library added to their routes.

7. Hold adult programming sessions about going green. You can find many resources and ideas for adult programming sessions at the Green Business Alliance and Treehugger.com.

All it takes is a little effort and time to make your library a little bit more green than it already is!

June 12, 2008

Screencast it! (or not...)

Anything you can do to help your library patrons find what they need on your ever growing web site is a smart move. An easy solution is to put together a "How to" screencast. I've used CamStudio before and it's a free and easy substitute for Camtasia.

Screencasts are a great way to demonstrate to patrons how to use a specific database your library might subscribe to. But here's a tip: before you spend time putting together a screencast, search YouTube and TeacherTube to see if it's already out there ...

CamStudio - Free Screen Recording Software

Thinking about e-Learning

Rodin - The Thinker
Originally uploaded by rwhitesi37
I've recently been attending some Web-Ex sessions on how to use Constant Contact for email marketing and picked up a wonderful tip on how to engage online/virtual attendees. At the beginning of each online session, the trainer actually picked out 2-3 people and asked what they hoped to get out of the session and share their specific situation. I thought this was a great way to get immediate buy in and participation for the online session. Many sessions I have attended using our OPAL room tend to have attendees who don't ask questions or use the mic for VOIP so I think the next time I host a session I'm going to use this tip and ask a few attendees what they hope to get out of the session and build a connection right up front!

June 11, 2008

Microsoft Launches Beta Release of SearchTogether Plugin - Where are Libraries?

I wonder why reference librarians aren't included in the list of Microsoft's ideas for use. I could certainly see reference librarians using their experience in searching working in group searches... hmmm, wonder how we can get this idea through to Microsoft!?!

Microsoft Launches Beta Release of SearchTogether Plugin
Three months ago, Microsoft announced three projects they were working on to enhance the search experience. One of those projects, SearchTogether, has been launched into beta. SearchTogether is a free Internet Explorer plugin that allows groups to collaborate on search. The plugin displays a sidebar in the IE Browser and features:

* Group query histories
* Split searching
* Page-level rating and commenting
* Automatically-generated shared summaries
* Peek-and-follow browsing
* Integrated chat

Here are some ideas from Microsoft on how to use the plugin:

* Business colleagues can perform joint research and share information on projects.
* Students can likewise collaborate on group reports and assignments.
* Friends often work together to find entertainment opportunities or housing.
* Families can SearchTogether to jointly plan vacations or find medical information for a loved one

Microsoft Launches Beta Release of SearchTogether Plugin [SearchEngineWatch]

Reading Rooster Recommends June 10 2008

June 09, 2008

Is your Library an Agent of Change

Are you an activist about libraries and library causes? Check out this latest video from the YouTube staff for non-profits!

WordPress.com - Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Blog

For libraries wanting to get started blogging, here is a great video tutorial on how to use Wordpress. It's 45 minutes long and very detailed.

Love your Library campaign

NLLD handout
Originally uploaded by scstatelibrary
This was our handout for National Library Legislative Day from South Carolina. During April and National Library Week, we promoted a Why I Love my Library campaign. Citizens could visit the SC State Library's web site, select their county, and write about why they loved their library. We selected some of the responses and created a handout to give to legislators telling the story of South Carolinians who love their library. We still are running the web page so that libraries across the state can use it for feedback.

June 08, 2008

digitization at university of south carolina

I meant to post this a while back but it was on my cell phone and I had forgotten about it! Anyway, this was part of a workshop tour I went on to the University of SC's digitization project room. They've got a great little set up there and some enthusiastic staff and graduate assistants. The program is headed by Kate Boyd.

no signs

no signs
Originally uploaded by curtis rogers

2008 SCLA Award Nominations

June 06, 2008

It's Sad to See a Library Close

“Are we running the libraries for books or statistics or are we running a library for the residents?” Dana Hanson, asked, a swirling of activity danced around her, as residents flooded the Auburndale branch in its final hours. “We need to look less quantitatively and look more qualitatively.” Pointing to the people who filled the library she said, “You are going to lose all of this.”

Revolution in the Stacks

To appeal to a new generation, some libraries are positioning themselves as places to create content.

this is SO true!!!

Catering to teenagers is just one response to some very big questions public libraries are facing these days. Not long ago, libraries enjoyed something of a monopoly on the public's access to information. It was a benign monopoly, of course. But closed stacks, endless lists of rules and the shushing librarian all became symbols of a stuffy order that served institutional interests. Now, the Internet is forcing libraries to change that mentality — and quickly. Governing: Libraries/June 2008

Open the Door to Change - it's a 2.0 World

While there are some libraries that are blazing the trail with the integration of 2.0 technologies, some of the old stodgy libraries, you know the ones...with that musty smell when you walk in the door and filled with red circle slash signage telling you what not to do... need to just move forward and get a blog, use meebo, and post some images to flickr!
In case you haven't heard yet - the I.T. world is changing. The rise of social computing technologies, generally branded as "Web 2.0" and including things like wikis, blogs, social networking, RSS, and more are slowly making their way into the business world. This new movement is called Enterprise 2.0, and it's no small shift. They're even having a conference about it next week. But the change encompasses more than just the introduction of new, social software into the formerly stodgy business world - it also includes the movement of server software from in-house data centers to the cloud, the rise of a mobile workforce, the rebirth of thin client computing, a self-provisioning user base, and more. I.T. 2.0 - ReadWriteWeb

Sex and the City at the New York Public Library | New York Public Library

Ok, my favorite movie this year is Sex and the City. I saw it on Tuesday night with my regular movie crowd. It was so nice to see so much wonderful attention given to a library book being checked out and how much Carrie loves her library! I don't want to give anything away if you haven't seen it yet but the images of NYPL are just wonderful! Check out the following:

Sex and the City at the New York Public Library | New York Public Library

June 04, 2008

The Library's web site shouldn't be a PUZZLE to Patrons

I just saw this wonderful posting on The Marketing Blog (see link below). It's a nice article posting about optimizing your web site. I truly think it is so important for library web sites to be the best they can possibly be! It's points like this that will help libraries build better web sites for users. Remember folks, we're the information professionals so our web sites should reflect that!

Attracting visitors to your website is only the
first step. Once there, you need to help your browsers find what
they're looking for and have an experience that will keep them coming
back for more. Keeping website visitors engaged is more important than

Engagement doesn’t end with an
individual browser reading content or clicking on an ad. Rather,
engagement is an ongoing process that results in loyal customers who
come back again and again, becoming more vested in your web site. So,
how can you make sure you’re engaging and keeping customers?

1. Reduce Clutter
2. Make Navigation Intuitive
3. Make The Initial Site Interaction Relevant
4. Ensure That Your Content Is Up-to-date
5. Start An Interaction With Your Users
6. Provide Plenty Of Support
7. Make Sharing Easy

In the posting, each of the above points is explained fully.

I've been to some library web sites that are so cluttered with links, it reminds me of the brochure stands - always overflowing and too many topics.

Remember to "clean up" your web site periodically! It helps users find what they really need. And remember, PUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND ADDRESS ON YOUR START PAGE! Many times, that's all that people are looking for...

The Marketing Blog | Internet Marketing Expert