December 31, 2008

Shame on the SC Ports Authority!

This is horrible! Especially when South Carolina's libraries are really feeling the hurt from recent budget cuts. Give the $750,000 to libraries so that more students can have books and resources to get ahead in the world!
South Carolina's ports authority offloads nearly $750,000 in bonuses
SouthCarolina’s embattled State Ports Authority is awarding $208,000 inbonuses to its top managers and some $500,000 to the rest of its employees.

It’s awfully nice of them, but it has horrible political timing.

So, let’s see: You’re a state-legislated monopoly, in a state that is having massive budget shortfalls (and is having trouble paying unemployment), your performance has already been sucking, and you’ve all but lost your biggest customer.

So what do you do? Dish out 3/4 of a million dollars in bonuses because
that shows you’re an organization that cares about the state.

Sigh. Really poor timing by the ports authority.

Go catch up on all the drama over at The Post and Courier.

What makes the decision even worse for the authority, is that Charleston’s S.C. Senate Rep. Glenn McConnell (and the highest ranking member of the Senate) is using the authority’s decision as a chance to denounce them. Which will help his case to privatize the port.

But, I’m already inclined to think privatization might be a good thing.

December 30, 2008

Hyperwords 3.0, with Views

I just noticed this on the M Word - Marketing Libraries blog and can't wait to try it out!

December 29, 2008

USC SLIS Panning for Gold CE Classes

The School of Library and
Information Science (SLIS), University of South Carolina, presents the

fifthteenth annual calendar of scheduled continuing education (CE)
. We hope that you will participate in many of the programs
listed in this Schedule of CE Events for Sp
ring 2009.

This year, as in the past, the CE Committee has
worked to develop programs in cooperation with other CE providers
throughout the stateand region. We want to continue to work with your
organizations to bring the best continuing education opportunities to
you and your colleagues. Please let us know what we can do.

This webpage lists workshops that were scheduled
by December 12, 2008. Check our flyers or our
home page
for additional events.

Continuing Education Committee

School of Library and Information Science

University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: 803/777-5277

Fax: 803/777-7938


Should libraries scruitinze their newspaper holdings?

According to the Pew Research Center for the People & The Press, the Web overtakes all media except TV as a major source of news.  Libraries need to follow this trend and make decisions about which in-print newspapers they subscribe to.  I was recently at a holiday party and the topic of newspapers came up and a majority said they actually don't subscribe to the print version any more.  This is a drastic change in the past couple of years just by my own personal observation of friends.  Now that this study is out, libraries need to carefully think through: Do we need to stop many or all of our in print newspaper subscriptions?  Do we need to set up more public internet workstations? What is the difference in cost to setting up another internet workstation vs. subscribing to the in-print version of a newspaper?

December 22, 2008

Check out the Reading Rooster Recommends for December 16 2008

Want to improve your Web site? Delete your content.

I love this article! So many libraries have poorly organized web sites with difficult to find information. This article speaks to you! Go forth and delete old info!

Want to improve your Web site? Delete your content
By Gerry McGovern

The more you simplify your site, the better the chance Web visitors will find what they need

I recently worked with an organization that managed to delete a
substantial quantity of content from its Web site. It was not an easy
process. In fact, it took years of effort to build up an internal
consensus that actually deleting content was a good idea.

"You can't delete that," people would say, "because you never know
when someone might need it." Even content that had become out-of-date
and was now actually misleading was defended. "I don't have time to
review or delete," was another excuse.

Working with another organization I found a page that was old and contained content that was now clearly wrong and misleading.

"You can't delete that," the Web manager said to me tersely.

"Why not?" I replied.

"It will hurt our search engine optimization."

It will what? This Web manager—to call him a manager, I know, is
stretching the meaning of the word—had become a search engine
optimization fanatic. (There are quite a few out there.)

Blindly, he believed that the more pages he had, and the more
content he had on each of these pages, the more likely he was to get
found in search engines. (As if getting found was the Holy Grail of Web
management.) Bringing customers to a page with wrong content is like
bringing customers into a car salesroom to show them your cars that
won't start and have scratches all over the paintwork.

Back to the Web site that deleted lots of its content. It was hard
going. It took leadership. Compromises had to be made. Some content was
not deleted but was changed so that it would not be found when
customers used the search engine.

The results were more dramatic than anyone could have imagined.

Customer satisfaction with the Web site remained stubbornly low for
several years despite many other initiatives. Well, when they deleted
the content, customer satisfaction shot up. Why?

Most customers come to your Web site to complete top tasks. The more
irrelevant and out-of-date pages of content you have, the greater the
chances they will arrive on these pages. There is simply nothing worse
than presenting a customer with useless content. It infuriates them,
wastes their time, and drives them away from your Web site like a

Every time I hear the word "redesign" I shiver a little. The Web
site has grown more and more useless because of badly managed and
out-of-date content. Management should have mandated the boring,
politically difficult and thankless work of regularly removing poor
quality content.

Instead, many Web managers—particularly the newly appointed
ones—want to do a redesign. This is much more fun. It involves hiring
latte-drinking, cool-haircut Web designers, who will eulogize the brand
and dress up the first couple of levels of the Web site in shiny new

But the rot of out-of-date, badly organized content remains. The
organization feels good because it has "done something." But what has
it done? It has engaged in the classic, ever-popular pastime of putting
lipstick on a pig.

Gerry McGovern is the founder and CEO of Customer Carewords and New Thinking e-mail newsletter. Contact Gerry at

December 18, 2008

December 12, 2008

College of Charleston Flash Rave in the Library

Well, I certainly hope no books were damaged! :-) Looks like the most fun in a library I've ever seen! Certainly would be a good event to have to blow off exam steam!

December 08, 2008

GovLoop - Social Networking for Government

A Colleague of mine in State Government told me about GovLoop recently. It's really an interesting social networking tool for government staff of all kinds. It's not as easy to navigate as Facebook but it does have some interesting groups and I think will grow to have much to offer government employees. I noticed there was no group devoted to libraries so I created a Library Group! Check it out and consider joining GovLoop today!

Reading Rooster Recommends

Reading Rooster Recommends

is a children's book recommendation series on YouTube and TeacherTube sponsored by the SC Center for Children's Books and Literacy, the USC School of Library and Information Science, and the South Carolina State Library.

December 05, 2008

Letter I received from Arts Commission

I thought this was very nice! I also think it is important for library staff members to get out and about making presentations like this to share the knowledge of things were doing...

UNC-CH libraries leave Christmas trees in storage

Good move on the library's part. Libraries, as well as all other government-related and/or funded organizations and institutions should understand that there is (or supposed to be) a separation of church and state. I agree that the library specifically is not a place for the celebration of a single religion, but should provide information on all types of religious beliefs instead of just concentrating on one.  However, I wonder why the reported only got a comment from the university's College Republican's group? 

CHAPEL HILL - For as long as anyone can remember, Christmas
trees adorned with lights and ornaments have greeted holiday season
visitors to UNC-Chapel Hill's two main libraries.

They aren't there this year.

trees, which have stood in the lobby areas of Wilson and Davis
libraries each December, were kept in storage this year at the behest
of Sarah Michalak, the university's associate provost for university

Michalak's decision followed several years of queries
and complaints from library employees and patrons bothered by the
Christian display, Michalak said this week.

Michalak said that
banishing the Christmas displays was not an easy decision but that she
asked around to library colleagues at Duke, N.C. State and elsewhere
and found no other one where Christmas trees were displayed.

from the fact that a UNC-CH library is a public facility, Michalak
said, libraries are places where information from all corners of the
world and all belief systems is offered without judgment. Displaying
Christian symbols is antithetical to that philosophy, she said.

strive in our collection to have a wide variety of ideas," she said.
"It doesn't seem right to celebrate one particular set of customs."

UNC-CH's chief librarian for four years, said at least a dozen library
employees have complained over the last few years about the display.
She hasn't heard similar criticism from students, though they may have
voiced their concerns to other library staff.

Public libraries
generally shy away from creating displays promoting any single
religion, said Catherine Mau, deputy director of the Durham County
library system, where poinsettias provided by a library booster group
provide holiday cheer.

If religious or holiday-themed books are
put on display in December, they tend to be broad in range and subject
matter, she said.

"It's a conscious decision," Mau said. "We want everyone to feel welcome."

At UNC-CH, student Derek Belcher sees a case of political correctness running amok.

don't understand it," said Belcher, a senior from Havelock and
president of the university's College Republicans. "We have Christmas
as a federal holiday. If we're going to remove the Christmas tree, do
we have to remove that holiday?"

December 04, 2008

Coming Up Taller Awards Program Seeks Nominations. Deadline: January 30 2009

The President's Committee on the Arts and the
Humanities (PCAH) is inviting nominations for the 2009 Coming Up Taller
Awards.  In partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library
Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), we are embarking on the
twelfth year of the Coming Up Taller Awards, which recognizes the
accomplishments of exceptional after-school and out-of-school arts and
humanities programs.

Coming Up Taller finalists receive $10,000,
an individualized plaque, and an invitation to attend the Coming Up
Taller Leadership Enhancement Conference.
For additional information, visit the Coming Up Taller website at
The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 30, 2009.   

If you have questions, please contact the President's Committee at (202) 682-5409.

December 01, 2008

Library's free classes can give job seekers an edge

Very COOL to see this highlighted!


free classes can give job seekers an edge


Technology Learning Center Manager, Charleston County Public Library

Special to

DEC. 1,
2008 - "Applicant must be extremely proficient with all Microsoft
Office programs, including Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint." This
sentence seems to shriek from the pages repeatedly as anxious job seekers
thumb through the classifieds each week. Layoffs, furloughs, service cutbacks
and shutdowns have fostered an environment of uncertainty among the employed
and unemployed alike. So, with fewer available jobs and an increasing
number of applicants, how can you emerge as a qualified contender?

for rest of article, visit

No Scents

no, it's not that they don't give you change for your paper money... they don't want you to smell - good or bad, i guess. this is at the Royal Ontario Museum library...