Friday, September 14, 2007

Does your library do anything in Second Life?

Then you might want to read this, especially if you work in an academic library and/or offer instruction inside SL...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

ALA Redesigning Home Page (yes, really!)

Take a look here for a sneak peek at the new ALA website layout, and then head over to this survey to share your opinions. We've been grumping about the un-navigable website for far too long now--let's help them make it better!

and yes, I've posted twice in as many days. feel free to alert the media. :-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A brag and an Article in Wired...

First off:


Okay, for you non-Okies reading this blog, OLA Gold is a leadership institute put on every 3 years by the Oklahoma Library Association. About 25 young librarians are paired with mentors, attend a leadership conference with a renowned speaker in Librarianship (our institute will be led by the awesome Pat Wagner--check out her website at, and do follow-up meetings and activities designed to turn us into leaders in the profession. It's a big thing to be selected for this, and I am VERY excited (if you can't tell). You can find out more about OLA Gold at Also, I'd like to say thanks to Alan and Laura (my director and assistant director at MPOW) for writing what I'm sure were very nice recommendations for me--I couldn't have done this without them!

Now, to the second, and somewhat less self-absorbed bit of today's post: I ran across this article on Second Life in Wired magazine the other day, and I thought I'd share. In a nutshell: There are a lot fewer users than statistics would indicate, the underlying servers can only handle about 70 users a time in a given "island", and corporate outposts in SL are pretty much expensive virtual ghost towns.

Implications for libraries? First, I want to be clear that I hopped on second life briefly about a year ago, wasn't all that impressed (didn't seem like there was much to do compared to the old school text-based MU*s that I grew up with), and left. I did take a look around Info Island (the main reason I checked it out in the first place), and while I may have been there on a slow day, it mainly looked like a collection of librarians milling around, looking for patrons. I've kept an eye on stories on SL in the blogosphere and in the media though, because I thought that if someone could create a compelling reason for someone to go to second life, it might become an interesting community. However, it's been a year, and I've yet to hear a story of a reference interview or outreach program in second life that helped people (in either their SL or RL guises) find the information they needed.

Second Life is an important experiment, but I think it's looking more and more like a fad, and a rapidly fading one at that. That said, I'm a skeptic, and the comments thread is open for anyone who has had a good reference experience on SL, or who thinks that SL libraries are having or could have more success than their for-profit counterparts in Second Life. I've hoped for the last 9 months or so that my mind might get changed on this--it just hasn't happened yet.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hard Decision...

This summer, as I've struggled to bring new projects to fruition and keep up with my duties, I've reached a sobering conclusion. Up to this point I've been trying to read every blog on library 2.0, write SL on a regular basis, and implement new ideas at MPOW. The conclusion I've reached is that I can pick any 2 of those projects. I can't do all 3. So I've skimmed through my feeds, and cut out everything that is not well-read (over 150 subscriptions) or highly entertaining/critical to my work. that took me down to about 15 LIS-related feeds, as well as some things like LISNews that provide summaries of other blogs. I can skim though those feeds every few days without getting a backlog of a thousand posts, and still pick up most of the information I need. Is it the ideal solution? not really, but it's what I have to do until somebody invents the 30-hour day. Hopefully this will mean that I have more time to write blog posts, articles, and responses to others--that's the goal, and we'll see what happens.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Just to put myself on the record...

I could write 3 pages on the silliness of Michael Gorman, but others got to it first and better. For the record, I wish he'd stop making librarians look like a bunch of Luddite fools. And no, I'm not going to provide link love for that particularly silly article--if you've been under a rock (or on vacation in new mexico like I was last week), just do a google search for Gorman and Britannica and you'll find the blog post easily enough.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Not a lot to say this week

A very exciting non-MPOW but LIS related project has been taking off in my spare time over the few weeks, and I hope to be able to share more details with you soon. There have been a lot of involved subprojects, actions, etc. involved, and my GTD skills have definitely been getting a workout keeping all of the balls in the air and making sure things happen as they should in the order that they should. ultimately it comes down to the same-old same-old...capture everything, process for actions, organize, review, and do...I know I couldn't even dream of attempting something like this without having a good system for this many-tentacled organism I'm trying to coax into existence. I'm sorry to be so cryptic about this (for now), and this post is an apology for my silence as much as anything else, but I'd like to leave you with one thought for the week: What ridiculously huge someday/maybe has been sitting in the background for a while, occasionally nagging you to think about taking action? And why don't you? When you realize that the worst thing that can happen is failure... and that with risk management most failures are recoverable...things get a lot easier. :-)

Don't let fear keep you from your goals. See you next week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Intersession life and stuff

For my fellow academic librarians...don't you just love that first week after spring finals? It's a great time to slow down, sit back, relax...and promptly collapse under the weight of 15 "summer projects". Here at MPOW we've already got our reserve room cleanup in progress, and then tidying up some item type glitches that were created in our ILS migration--fortunately it only impacts a thousand or so AV items. Also it's inventory time, and we have about a thousand govdoc microfiches that need to be cataloged, and I'm developing a seminar for the clients of our university's business incubator, and we're going to be revamping our web tutorials, get the picture. :-) I've also come to the conclusion that as I find more "nifty projects" to do at work and in my wider life, I need to reevaluate how much time I spend on my ongoing projects. For instance, I'm taking an orientation class to become a CASA--as a former welfare caseworker this is a need very close to my heart and there are never enough of them to go around. Librarians' research skills and helping personalities can make us a good fit for this--if you're looking for a service opportunity, check with your local chapter to see if they need new advocates. (okay, plug over, back to the post :-))

Anyway, as I was saying, I've been thinking a lot about how much time I can commit to some of my professional development projects, notably Scattered Librarian. After some thought, I've decided that I'm going to scale back to one scheduled post a week--knowing of course that I'll probably pop in with brief posts more often as my muse/current events bring up various topics. In a perverse sort of way I think that will have me keeping up with things better. Unfortunately, I've decided to put the RSS digest on temporary(?) hiatus, at least the LIS links. If you're not on's feed, their This Week in Library Blogland does a much more thorough summary of what's out there. I will, however, be posting my 5 favorite time management blog posts each week at the end of said scheduled post, and I'll certainly keep sharing all those wacky reference sites I run into from time to time. If I decide to start pursuing more speaking opportunities or anything like that, I'm sure you'll see the volume here picking up a lot--but I've got quite enough going on for now, and I think I'd be better served spending more time in the comments feeds of your blogs as well as updating mine. We'll see how it goes... :-)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Getting back on the organization wagon...

If you haven't noticed from both the topics and (ir)regularity of my posts lately, life's been a little nuts this past month, as we've been settling into the new ILS, dealing with the traditional end-of-semester reference and citculation crush at the same time, and--oh yeah--sorting out our requests for next year's budget. Everything that was not mission critical went on the back burner--writing blog posts, keeping up with most RSS feeds, any purchasing and cataloging that could wait a few weeks, and a lot of my GTD routines like reviewing my next actions at the beginning and end of the day, and keeping a log of my completed tasks. I even got to the point where I stopped writing things down for a week or so, keeping them festering in my inbox or worse, trying to remember it all in my brain. In short, I didn't do all the stuff I carp on you guys here to do, with the predictable result of a messy office and a frazzled brain. You all may now point, snicker and generally feel smug. :-)

While my skipping of a few weekly reviews and stacks of stuff festering in my office didn't result in any major disasters, that was more dumb luck and the leftover inertia of my prior good habits than anything else. I've had enough lost paperwork or forgotten deadlines in my time that I know that's the ultimate result of disorganization. I worked a shift last saturday, took a look at my desk and inboxes, and inwardly groaned. The worst of the storm had passed, I had 8 sleepy saturday hours ahead of me to dig out, and I'd run out of emergency items that gave me excuses to ignore the mess. It was time to pay the piper.

So...if you've been a little lax for a few weeks or months on your organization, and find yourself disorganized and flustered, how do you get back on track? It's not nearly as big a nightmare as it may seem--under those piles you still have the bones of a good system. What do you do to dig out?

First, forgive yourself. I'm sure that this did not happen because you spent the last few weeks nibbling bonbons at your desk with your feet up. most likely this is the aftermath of a major project or rush period, and you should look back at what you have accomplished during that time. I've noticed a perfectionist streak in a lot of librarians--especially newer ones. I think it's just part of being a geek and a lover of information. Well, you won't ever be perfect. Every few months I take the GTD mastery test as a self-check of where I am on my organization habits and to get ideas of areas for improvement. I most recently scored a 64, and I write a time management blog! One of the key things I learned in my career is to accept the occasional error. obviously I'd rather have every task in my life under perfect control at all times, but that is not going to happen. So I've put together systems in my life to accomplish as much of that as possible while still having a life and free time, and most importantly I've learned to forgive and shrug off the occasional slip. S#*t happens. Take a deep breath, give yourself a hug, and get down to work. It's not nearly the disaster it seems to be.

Part of the reason the situation seems so overwhelming and disastrous is that you simply don't know where everything is and what tasks need to be done! Well, that's easily mended. Get everything to in. all the scattered papers, books, etc floating around your office need to go to the inbox (or next to it if you fill your inbox) to be processed. open up your email inbox, and any catch-all folders you've set up for files that need to be dealt with. Now, grab a pen and paper, and make a list of EVERY TASK that's floating around in your head--get it all captured and on paper. then add those items to your inbox. Now comes the fun part--process all your stuff. set up next actions, add meetings to calendars, do short tasks--you know the drill. Just by the simple act of putting all that stuff in one place and processing it, you will feel much more in control of your workload. Even if you leave work with a stack of unprocessed items for the next couple of days--you know where it is, you have a general idea of what it is, and you know it'll all get processed shortly.

Now to the part I'm working on now. When you've emptied your inbox, and gotten all your actions done, delegated, or deferred, add one more action to the list to do when you have your next weekly review or other blocked-off planning time: post-disaster review. (okay, "disaster" is a bit extreme, but you get the concept.) Grab a notepad, or whatever you think best on, and answer the following questions.

  • What caused the initial slip into disorganization? a big project, an unexpected absence, an emergency "from above" that took several days to resolve, or just tackling too many projects at once?
  • does this sort of thing tend to happen this time every month/semester/whatever?
  • How long were things "out of control" before you took action?
  • What inspired you to get it back together?
  • What was easier/harder than you expected about climbing out of the hole?
  • How can you change your processes or routines to make a recurrence less likely?
  • Do you need to think about delegating some of your ongoing tasks to a less-burdened colleague or a talented subordinate?
  • If you had to do it all over again, what would/could you have done differently to avoid the mess? If there are ideas, incorporate them in your process going forward. if this slip was unavoidable (and they are at times) , see the beginning of this plan, forgive yourself, and move on.
Your effectiveness at Getting Things Done (or Covey, or whatever system you use), has very little to do with how well you can attain/maintain perfection in your system during the normal times. Instead, when times get tough, and the inevitable slips occur, how quickly and easily do you bounce back and regain control? Nobody is or should be perfect--heaven knows that life would be much duller if we were. Strive for excellence, and for resilience when the tough times come. If you can manage that, you'll find that organization--as well as most other things in life--become much easier and more pleasant.

See you next tuesday, with my first new and improved RSS digest. :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Public Service announcement

This is not going to be a pro-gun or anti-gun post. nor is this going to be a rant for or against mandatory counseling or in loco parentis. Smarter people than I are going to be debating those questions for the next few years. As I look over my college days and my subsequent higher ed career, I can think of people who desperately needed help who fell through the cracks, some of whom self-destructed via suicide or other less dramatic means. I also, unfortunately know a talented would-be future teacher in need of a little reassurance who was driven out of a certification program by hyper-paranoid administrators worried that he didn't sufficiently fit the mold. So, what can we as librarians do, and how can we strike a balance between fear of and indifference to our students' needs?

Take a look around the library next time you're at the desk. See that kid? the one with the downcast eyes and closed-off expression? The next time they come to the desk, strike up a conversation, even if it's just about the weather or last night's ball game. Look them in the eyes. Make human contact. take a genuine interest in the subject they're researching, and offer to give them a little extra help, if they seem receptive. It might well be the only friendly gesture they've had all week. No, I'm not saying that you should be all hearts and butterflies with someone who's behaving in an inappropriate or threatening manner--that's when you do what's necessary to keep your colleagues and patrons safe, and call the campus police/counselors if appropriate. Nor am I saying you should try to be an armchair shrink.

From everything I've read, the student at Virginia Tech had some very deep-rooted problems that went far beyond what a friendly gesture would cure--at least by the time April 16 rolled around. But what about 6 months ago? a couple years back? I don't know that it would have made a difference in this case...but I do know that there are a lot of young, confused college students who can be helped with a smile, a helping hand, or a few words of friendly conversation. It's our responsibility as librarians--and as human beings--to be hospitable to these folks and steer them in the direction of help we can't provide. College is a wonderful, terrifying, stressful time for most students. We, as the adults they see regularly, have a responsibility to give them the tools to forge a successful path in life--and not just academically or financially.

Friday, April 13, 2007

tech support request--SOLVED!

Could anyone who is familiar with setting up the unicorn label designer please send me an email/IM/carrier pigeon? it's doing bizarre things and not letting me set up the dimensions I need for our spine/pocket labels (details on request)

Thanks...and apologies again for the spotty posting schedule the past few weeks, I hope to be back at something resembling my normal routine in another week or so.

Update: After much searching (and headbanging), I was finally able to get the problem sorted out thanks to some posts on this topic at the client care forums. Thanks so much to those who sent me tips and suggestions!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Two landmarks I have to share...(and my 5 bloggy heroes)

I'm sticking my head up from being buried in Unicorn minutia for the last 2 weeks to make a couple comments.

1. This morning I passed 50 subscribers in bloglines--and based on my daily traffic I seem to have about a hundred regular readers. Thanks for taking the time to read my somewhat OCD babblings!

2. Walt at Random » Blog Archive » Five blogger heroes (sort of)


The sentiment is mutual. I know Walt's a regular guy, but it's still kewl to get kudos from a guy whose articles you read in library school...

And on that theme, my 5 Blogging heroes--most of these are obvious based on who I mention in my RSS digests, but if you haven't followed any links to their blogs, you should...

The Well-dressed Librarian As I've mentioned in previous posts--he's witty, makes incisive comments about the state of librarianship, and fashion tips to boot!
Thoughts from a Library Administrator The kind of administrator I wanna be when I grow up.
The Other Librarian Always a unique spin on current issues.
Library Stories this blog focuses on events and issues in my home state, run by Adri Johnson, one of the more illustrious nextgen voices around my parts. Full disclosure: I'm a co-writer on the blog, but I admit that I just shamelessly ride her coattails. :-)
Caveat Lector I understand why Dorthea doesn't allow comments on her blog, but I'd love it if she did, because many of her articles make me think so deeply that I wish I could write a detailed response...

And one last thing--If anyone reading this is familiar with Unicorn workflows, especially circulation reports, could you zap me an IM? I'm still getting my bearings and I ran across an odd problem this morning. it's basic enough that I don't want to bother the Sirsi mailing list with it unless I have to, but all of you already know I'm a doofus. *smirk* I'm on yahoo as scatteredlib (in fact, you can generally find me there during standard work hours). Thanks, and if I can think of anything profound-ish I'll talk to you tomorrow! Thanks again for all your support.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Student workers & how to use them effectively...

Earlier this week on COLLIB-L, a library director dealing with an administration looking to freeze her student worker budget turned to the group to get some ideas for projects she could add to their workload to justify their existence. in the course of composing my own response and reading others, I was struck by just how much we rely on our student workers, even relative to the other librarians who posted about their student workers' tasks. At least at our institution, it's a lot easier to justify another student worker position than another "real" employee, which means that a lot of the time consuming, easily trainable ongoing tasks have been delegated down to our student workers over the years as the student staff has grown. Below is my response to the mailing list, followed by some thoughts I've had based on how this thread evolved.

Well, here’s what we do with our student workers…I’m the access services guru so I’m mostly thinking of circ-related tasks, though I know there are a few other ongoing student projects I’m forgetting.

1. Circ desk stuff (check in/out, pulling holds, the usual)
2. Shelving, book shifting, general stacks tidying and shelfreading
3. Pre-processing/labeling of books
4. Inventory (I set up the initial reports in the system, they scan the books into the wizard)
5. Catalog clean-up projects (item type fixes, re-barcoding older items, etc.)
6. Periodicals checkin
7. Govdocs checkin
8. Compiling monthly new book lists for the website, searching in the collection for potential items for subject area pathfinders, etc.
9. ILL (pretty much anything that isn’t a faculty request)
10. Front line reference when students are so intimidated they head right for the youngest face at the desk
11. front line tech support when students are so intimidated they head right for the youngest face at the desk :-)
12. keeping the printers/copiers filled with paper/toner
13. more special projects/data entry chores than I can think of right now (ex: I’m going to have 2 helping me this summer with the annual reserve room clean-up)
14. artwork/posters for PR/Marketing stuff (we have several VERY talented art majors on our team)
15. extra pairs of eyes watching the state of our supply room for reorders.
16. Mentoring the newbie student workers as they come in (nothing official, they just naturally take them under their wings for the first few weeks).

Essentially, any ongoing task that doesn’t involve money, MARC records, instruction, or involved reference work is fair game. Don’t underestimate your student workers’ abilities or interests—several of our long-time student workers could probably do most of my job (but don’t tell my director that! :-) )

Whoops--I think I did just tell my director that! (for reasons that elude me, my boss seems to think this blog is worth reading...) Anyway, after posting the laundry list above, I began thinking a bit more about what libraries typically do and do not use student workers for, and the various issues that have to dealt with. For instance, we interview and select our student workers, and are able to pick out outgoing students with good GPAs and solid work ethics. The few inevitable glitches aside, we've generally had very good luck with our student workers, and I'd pit their customer service, professionalism and performance against any other department's student staff on this campus. Apparently some schools have their student workers picked and sent over by financial aid, and have to make do with what they get. I'm sure that impacts the tasks they can and cannot assign their students. Also, turnover is a factor with students--at least at our library workers tend either to leave the library after a semester or stay with us through graduation--we don't have too much middle ground. Our veteran workers (at least two of whom have worked here longer than I have!) are a big reason we can outsource things like ILL to them. In fact one of our long-time workers has been considering going for her MLIS after she graduates! :-)

So, how can you use your student workers' time more effectively? Obviously, every library's circumstances are different, but the biggest thing I can say is not to underestimate your students. When I first became the access services librarian, I attempted to personally handle any and every task related to circulation management, and quickly got overwhelmed. I couldn't do everything, and many of the most time-consuming tasks simply weren't the best use of my time. We also had student workers bored, needing more things to do. Around that time, our director came back from a program for academic library directors that he attended at Harvard, and asked all of us to look at our tasks for things that we could delegate to students, as he had several new projects he needed our help in implementing.

With that comment in mind I took a hard look at the things that ate up the biggest portion of my time, and found several ongoing "maintenance" projects that could be partially or completely delegated. Yes, I had to spend time training the students--but usually no more than an hour or so for the particular task/student, checking their work for the first few weeks, and jumping in for a few minutes here and there when they hit a stumbling block. my schedule opened up almost immediately, and I was able to spend more time on a lot of high-value projects that had been on the back burner.

I could probably write a full-length article and/or presentation on the effective use of student workers (and now that I'm thinking about this issue, I just might!). However, it really comes down to hiring good people, taking the time to train them well (and it doesn't take near as much time as you may think), and giving them opportunities to stretch. All of our student workers have to take their turns with the oh-so-glamorous tasks of shelfreading and inventory, but I think the fact that most of them also have a special project helps them feel like they are an important part of the library, and in turn gives them the motivation to do their best. does your library use your student employees?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

On information overload (slightly ranty—be warned!)

Brace yourselves, folks, I’m about to say something heretical. (okay, maybe not heretical, but possibly a tad counter-cultural?)

I am too connected. Somewhere in my post-MLIS plan for networking and professional development I found myself on a couple dozen mailing lists, several web forums, almost 100 rss feeds, and a bunch of other stuff I’m not even remembering right now. I’ve felt the burnout encroaching for the last month or so, and took last week off from all my library sites, feeds, lists, etc. just to see how much piled up if I wasn’t there to read it. The rounded numbers:

540 LIS Blog posts
220 Time management blog posts
300 messages from email lists

In other words, over a thousand to-read items, not counting God knows how many forum posts, additions to the L2.0 Ning, blog comments, etc., as well as the 2 dead-tree magazines that were in my box when I came back. One thing I noticed over and over as I tried to browse my backlog was how many posts/emails were about the same 5-10 topics, over and over. Often I would find the exact same post copied into half a dozen different blogs, with a few brief comments tacked on. I realized that much of my professional development time had been devoted to reading the same bloody thing (with slightly different twists) in many different places. I’ll be blunt—there are too many blogs, and not enough original writers, at least for me to be able to do more than skim and hit the next button. After deleting about 80% of the mess unread, I knew I had to find a better way.

When I am keeping up with that many different inputs, I have no time or energy to respond with my own thoughts, or even really read what I’m looking at, beyond the most basic skim. Also, my own writing is going downhill, simply because I have a finite amount of time I can devote to professional development, most of which is sunk into reading 200 emails and blog posts a day about only 10-15 different topics. Simply put, this is not the most effective use of my time if I want to attain the career goals I have in mind. If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know what’s next. Here’s my plan. :-)

1: Cut out half of my RSS feeds. Maybe more. There are about 4-5 time management sites I link to regularly, and most of them link to the minor ones when good stuff is posted. The rest can go. As for the library feeds, I’ve not pruned these aside from unsubbing from dormant blogs. The podcasts I follow are getting shunted over to my iTunes for commute listening. There are about a dozen people who write truly insightful original material on a regular (weekly or more) basis, and their feeds will stay. As for the collected links feeds, I don’t have many of them but they’re higher volume. I’ve already (with deep regret) said goodbye to one particularly voluminous feed in this category—I enjoy it but my week layoff resulted in 110 posts from that feed alone, 3 of which I found interesting enough to click into. I need a higher ROI on my professional development time than that. I think that 3-5 of these types of feeds should cover the vast majority of the good stuff, and give me enough for RSS digest (more on that in a bit).

2: Mailing lists. I plan to cut here, but not as deeply, as I did some editing a few months back. There are a few job search/new librarian lists that can go. I’m also going to take a hard look at lists for ALA sections/roundtables I’m not actually a member of. I have a bunch of lists for our new ILS, but they are low volume and I can’t yet tell what’s I’ll need, so they stay for now. Finally, any list where there is as much flaming/whining/political debate as there is useful conversation is going bye-bye. My work life is a no-drama zone.

3: Forums: Unless I need to search for info on a particular topic, all forums but the library 2.0 Ning are going off my “to read” bundle on So far, Ning seems to have an extremely good signal to noise ratio, and I’d rather spend an hour skimming there than try to whip through half a dozen websites in the same amount of time.

4: Scholarly Journals: my high level of blog and mailing list reading is only possible because I do almost zilch to keep up with the scholarly literature, at least since I finished my MLIS. I’m still thinking about this, but I’m considering picking out 2 or three of the best academic library journals to read cover-to cover when they come in. we have access to almost all of darned things either in print or via databases, so I really have no excuse. Perhaps pick out one or two articles a month to review/respond to online? I’m sure most of us don’t read as much of the Literature as we’d like, and that might be a more beneficial use of my blog than writing post #18 about LoC’s newest rule change. And in that vein…

5: Contribute signal, not noise: There are plenty of blogs that provide summaries of the week’s best library posts, most notably’s “This Week in Library Blogland”. Most of them do a better job than I can. Each week I spend a total of 2 hours assembling the RSS digest. I know this service is enjoyed, and IT’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE. However, I’m going to keep it shorter. I currently average between 25-35 links, and I think I can halve that and still have a useful digest. Some of this will come organically via steps 1-3, and the rest will come from being a bit more selective in my linking. Look for the digests to evolve over the next few weeks, and please share your comments and suggestions. I also will try to keep my Tuesday posts under 1000-1200 words.

To wrap up, my goal is and has been to give you the tools you need to improve your professional lives as well as the service you provide your users. To do that, I need to remember one of the first things I learned in library school and not waste the time of my readers. I pledge that if I don’t have anything interesting or original to say on a given topic, I’ll keep my mouth shut, and will refrain from posting for posting’s sake just to maintain a schedule. If I only have a few lines to say about a post, I’ll put it in that blog’s comment thread, NOT here. Will that lower my visibility, or cause me to lose a few readers? Possibly, and I’m fine with that. I am not the best Liblogger out there, and I’m giving up the attempt. Instead, I’m going to focus on fulfilling MY mission, and not worry about the rest.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spring break/brain break

Happy saturday! (and my condolences to any of you pulling a weekend shift) This coming week is spring break at MPOW (which we mostly get off work--I LOVE my job), and in the interest of recharging, I'm taking a break from all online LIS-related activities for the week. Have a great week, and don't forget to take time to sharpen your saws!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Administrative note

Due to spam I've changed the permissions to restrict commenting to folks with a blogger account. I may have to start moderating comments, but that's a weapon of last resort. not surprisingly, the only posts that have gotten spammed are ones with a significant number of trackbacks, which makes me unsure whether that feature is worth it. Suggestions are welcome, and I apologize for any inconvenience these new rules may cause.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Well, Well, Well...(SirsiDynix announces new "Rome" ILS)

1st: Starting with this entry, I'll be crossposting selected blog posts at my blog in the Ning Library 2.0 social network. In addition, I'll be experiementing with posting there as well, as I try to sort out what will work best in that community. If you aren't already a member, join in the fun, and if you ARE a member, feel free to friend me! :-) (My profile picture is me with the rest of my T'ai Chi Class in front of the Pearl tower in Shanghai--I'm the one in the red hat with the goofy jetlagged grin)

2nd: yes, I'm really going to do that job hunting article. It got trumped by breaking news in ILS-land. This email from the folks at SirsiDynix was waiting in my box when I got into work today...

Dear valued SirsiDynix customer,

Later today, SirsiDynix will make an exciting announcement for both our company and the library market. Before the announcement becomes public knowledge and a press release is issued, I wanted to personally share now what the rest of the world will hear shortly – as well as explain to you what it means for customers of SirsiDynix Unicorn, DRA Classic, and MultiLIS integrated library systems.

SirsiDynix will unveil that we are blending the strengths and best features of Unicorn, Horizon/Corinthian, and other solutions to create a new, versatile technology platform to serve 21st-century libraries and consortia. Code-named “Rome,” this platform goes beyond the traditional integrated library system to encompass the full range of technology building blocks for managing library operations and resources, while providing meaningful user experiences to your information consumers.

Rome is built on the architecture of the industry-standard Unicorn Library Management System – with its record of stability, quality, and performance – and will include an impressive set of new solutions created as part of Horizon 8.0/Corinthian development. The first release of Rome will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. The target time for the second release is late 2008.

What does this mean to Unicorn, DRA Classic, and MultiLIS customers?

There are several key points you should know:

  • SirsiDynix will continue to maintain and support Unicorn. (Note SirsiDynix’s policy of actively supporting a given product in its current release and two prior releases.)
  • Unicorn GL3.2 and Horizon 8.1/Corinthian will not be released. Instead, the new functionality of both will be incorporated into Rome over time.
  • We will focus our research-and-development efforts on Rome. As a result, Rome will be the platform for all SirsiDynix users in the future.
  • However, Rome will offer a host of features and benefits developed for Unicorn, and the Unicorn architecture is at the heart of the new platform. When upgrading from Unicorn to Rome, current Unicorn users will find Rome to be very familiar, therefore requiring little or no additional training or other upgrade services.

Here are the upgrade or migration paths for Unicorn, DRA Classic, and MultiLIS customers:

  • Customers on Unicorn GL3.1 or earlier can upgrade to Rome using the same criteria as in the past.
  • Customers not already on Unicorn GL3.1 should proceed to this latest Unicorn release, as it will provide for an easy upgrade to the Rome platform. After Unicorn GL3.1, the next major upgrade for Unicorn sites will be Rome.
  • DRA Classic and MultiLIS sites have the immediate option to migrate to Unicorn GL3.1. Otherwise, they can follow the path to Rome in the coming months. (Note that SirsiDynix has announced DRA Classic’s end of life, with support for this legacy product ending on February 28, 2009. Previously, SirsiDynix announced end of life for MultiLIS, with support ending on June 30, 2007.)

The upcoming press release will offer more information about the major features and benefits of Rome. I cannot stress enough that this new technology platform will provide the “best of both worlds” – the stability you require and the features you need.

As always, if you have questions about your particular case, please contact your SirsiDynix account representative.


Talin Bingham

Chief Technology Officer


Note: the press release has since been put out on the sirsi website, click here to read.

Can't say I'm surprised, anyone with a brain knew that they were going to merge Unicorn and Horizon, economies of scale being the whole point of the SirsiDynix merger. From an unashamedly selfish standpoint I'm glad "Rome" is being built on the basic Unicorn framework--we're just getting used to this interface, and I was not relishing the idea of having to relearn our ILS in a year. I'm not acquainted with either platform well enough to venture an opinion on whether they picked the "right" horse. I am intrigued to see how (if at all) SirsiDynix responds to the 2.0 paradigm with Rome's features, and while some of the statements in the press release sound intriguing/promising, we haven't even seen screenshots or a features list, and the PR-speak could really mean pretty much anything. For where we are right now as an institution, a proprietary ILS is the best route for us at the moment (I like the recent description I heard of OA as "free as in puppies"), and it gives us the flexibility for the projects and needs that we have right now. Will it still be a good fit in a year? we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

RSS Digest: March 8, 2007

RSS Digest time again! I’m taking the comment silence to mean that you are happy with the mix of things I post here (or are trapped under something heavy and can’t reach the keyboard *smirk*). Also, you may have noticed I didn’t do a Tuesday post. I spent half the day Tuesday at an instruction session at one of our remote campuses (and was a bit under the weather to boot), and I just didn’t make it that far down my to-do list. I still plan to do the job search article next Tuesday, and will probably follow that up with a networking guide for shy librarian types. Thanks for all your patience and comments!

LIS Stuff

Building a Personal Finance Library: 25 of the Best Books About Money ∞ Get Rich Slowly Most of these books are no-brainers (and are already in your collections, no doubt)--but take a look for your library--and for yourself. :-)

Tame The Web: Libraries and Technology: Ten Tech Trends for Librarians 2007 READ. Title says it all.

The Shifted Librarian: It's Going to Be Okay, IT Librarians Yes, I know I linked to these guys already. They've done more videos. My hubby Kevin (software developer) and I laughed our butts off...

The Shifted Librarian: Keeping Up When You Don't Have the Time For those of you who can't deal with 20+ mailing lists, a half-dozen journals, and 91 RSS feeds...(some days, I think I can't deal with that either, and I'm an info-addict...)

The Chronicle: 3/9/2007: Information Navigation 101 GO. READ. THIS. NOW!!!! I can't tell you how many students I've helped who navigate myspace and facebook like they wrote the things but dan't put together a basic search query--in ebsco OR google. | Why Google's universal library is an assault on human identity erm...not sure I'd be that (melo)dramatic about it, but food for thought nonetheless.

Library 2.0 Social network You have joined this...right?

Catalogablog: Masterkey Metasearch tool hmm....sails over my head, but sounds like it's got some interesting implcations.

Less Facebook And More Face In Book A-Freaking-Men. And I say that as n social network addicted blogging uber tech geek.

The Distant Librarian: CFP: Internet Librarian 2007 You're going, right? This conference is worth every penny. I'm hoping to make it myself, if the stars align...

» The embattled MLS Is an MLS needed to be a good library manager? An interesting debate, and honestly, I can see both sides. (I've called on my business experience heavily in my LIS career, but my MLS has halped me a lot too...)

Time Management/Lifehacks

The key to staying calm in an argument - Lifehacker Required reading if your work involves dealing with other human beings (AKA all of us)

Make your brain learn faster - Lifehacker mainly common sense, but worth reading...

Download of the Day: Google Desktop 5.0 (Windows) - Lifehacker Productivity tool or bloatware? you be the judge...

10 Tips to Help Keep Your Desk Clean « Ian’s Messy Desk my desk is okay right now...but give it 5 minutes. A guide to keeping the chaos controlled.

GTD Pitfalls - *nods*--I really try not to be one of those people who blogs incessantly about GTD but doesn't actually DO anything, but it's a fine line...

Productivity & Organizing Myth #7 – A person’s office or home can get decluttered and organized in hours or weekend (or 30 minute t.v. show). - *sigh* sad but true...

How To Cultivate Purpose - Some good thoughts for planning in those "higher altitudes"

Cool Reference Sites of the week

ResourceShelf » More “Doing Business In” Country Commercial Guides Hit the Web Some interesting resources for those of you who have patrons interested in/studying international business...

ResourceShelf » New Web Site: You pay taxes, right? then go take a look at how they get spent.

Smithsonian Institution Libraries: Make the Dirt Fly! a man, a plan, a canal: Panama (I always wanted to use a palindrome in a blog post!)

Daylight Saving Time - Saving Time, Saving Energy I still not convinced the world needs DST, but here's an explanation of the history and reasons behind springing forward and falling back...

Tartan Day Don't forget to wear your kilt! warning--this site blasts bagpipes at you, so you may want to mute your computer unless you like that sort of thing. I do (except when it pops out of a website with no warning), but I lived in Scotland for a year…

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

RSS Digest: March 1, 2007

Happy day before Friday! Here’s the neatest cites I ran across this week. One other note--I’d appreciate feedback on these digests—please let me know if I’m posting things you’re interested in, or if they’re the same links you get from 50 other blogs, if you want these to be longer, shorter, more or less on particular topics…you get the gist!

LIS Links

Worcester Telegram & Gazette News There's a stupid person born every minute...*sigh*
Wise crowds with long tails | TechEssence.Info Worth reading.
ResourceShelf » CRS Reports: Information, Please I've been seeing this issue around a lot of places lately, and I must agree--if we're paying for this stuff, and it's not classified, why not? They can even strip out the name of the congressperson who requested it if they're THAT paranoid...
ResourceShelf » Usage statistics and scholarly communications & The Open Archive for Library and Information Science An possibly useful batch of statistics...
Library Talk: The Can't Do Attitude A rant that all too many of us can sympathize with...and a reminder of how lucky I am with MPOW--they may not always "get it"at first, but they recognize it's worth getting!
Library 2.0: An Academic's Perspective: Two Must-Read 2.0 Blogs Good blogs, both, but dang it, I have 91 feeds right now! *whimper*
Creating Passionate Users: How much control should our users have? You know...I've suspected this for a while...we can't just throw new toys out there for our users to learn--we have to make them worth the pain of the learning curve, and explain to users why they're worth it.

Productivity Links

Recalculate your paycheck deductions - Lifehacker While I hate the notion of giving George W. Bush an interest free loan for a year (that's what a refund IS, folks...), I hate surprises on my taxes too. a great way to balance your deductions just right...
The GMail Nerve Center - I know I'm not using gmail as well as I could--here are some tricks to make this great tool work even better.
Organizing Paper and Information: 7 Mistakes that Sabotage Your Productivity - #7 on this hits home for me today--I've got a friend who had a freak hard drive crash last night, and lost a lot of stuff...she should be able to recover some of the things she lost, but that will be her main project for the next few weeks...
Priorities and Posteriorities - How to NOT get things done. A must read for those who want to get things done. (yes, this makes sense...)
Productivity & Organizing Myth #6 – I can find anything in my piles. - Confirming what I've suspected for a long time...those piles on the desk don't just not work for me--they don't work for most everybody. :-)
GTD + Your Emotional Life - A thought-provoking article on consciously managing...your emotions. Click through to the comments—there’s quite a spirited discussion going on…
Clean like a maid! » Curbly | DIY Design Community « Keywords: cleaning, tips Where have you been all my life?
Mash up RSS feeds with xFruits - Lifehacker Haven't gotten around to playing with this, but I've got a few ideas rattling in my head on ways I could consolidate my feeds...
Plan your meals more effectively with Meals Matter - Lifehacker I've tried various ways to plan my weekly menus in advance (I belong to a food co-op and get a bag of meat and veggies once a week, which makes planning both easier and harder). I'll give this a whirl and see what happens...
zen habits: Edit Your Life, Part 1: Commitments I've been trying to do this lately...

Cool reference sites of the week: Mostly Maps

ResourceShelf » Resource of the Week: Motherlode of Iraq Maps With the exception of those readers who have family or friends in Iraq, I'm betting you couldn't find Tikrit on a map. If I'm right, check out this site...
Seterra - Learn Geography. Free Software. After you finish refreshing your Iraq geography knowledge, why not expand your focus? download this puppy and you'll be finding small countries on the map faster than you can say Djibouti!
ResourceShelf » Melissa Data Adds Census Tract Info and Maps Continuing on my trend of map-based reference sites, here’s a neat resource closer to home. It seems to do something a bit different from the similar maps at the Census website, and it's very interesting.
ResourceShelf » Pixsy’s Starhabit Database Some new features on a very nifty video search engine...
Fun & Games « Panorama of the Mountains A couple of brain teasers and one addictive-looking game...I've got enough problem with Kyodai, so I think I'll steer clear of the latter...)

Have a good weekend, everyone! :-)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Time management spotlight: Daily Routines

One of the most valuable things I have done in my (neverending) quest to get un-scattered has been to create routines for myself for the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that need to happen for me to stay on top of my various projects. The first time I created a routine of this sort was when I worked in social services, and had to have an organized way of making sure 200 families and all their associated paperwork didn’t fall through any cracks. I found that a standard process for handling every case, as well as all the tasks I needed to handle in a typical day, kept me both accurate and efficient, and made that job as low-stress as it was ever going to be.

As I became converted to the wonders of the routine, I created ones for my non-work life, both before and after going to work. In some ways those early experiments with managing my time made this student ready for the day I was introduced to GTD. They are the key to my ability to manage all of my projects in my 20-odd areas of responsibility. If you don’t have routines automating your key projects, things will slip through the cracks, your most important self-improvement efforts will sputter to a halt, and you generally won’t be making the best use of your time. It’s back to David Allen’s exhortations to get the stuff out of your brain—just putting a repeat button on the action as you do.

How do you build a routine? Well, let’s say you have some things you’d like to take care of on a regular basis after work. You want to make time to pick up the house a little bit every evening so that you aren’t frantically moving piles into bedrooms the night before the in-laws visit. You need to hit the gym, there’s this book you’ve been meaning to finish, you’d like some sort of daily spiritual prayer/meditation practice—basically you want to curl up in bed knowing that you did more with your evening than fight household fires, call in pizza and stare at the TV for 4 hours. Get that stuff out of your head and into an action list—call it @evenings, or whatever you like. Keep it simple though—if you give yourself some 25-item, 3 hour ordeal to slog through every night after work, that’s a recipe for accomplishing nothing more useful than drinking 2 glasses of merlot and tipping the delivery guy. Yes, this is the voice of experience speaking. In fact, save the complex stuff for the weekends—if you accomplish a short, brainless list every day, you’ll have time to get to those things in a leisurely way on saturdays.

Here are my current daily routines to give you some ideas for getting started—also, do a search for "routines" at either Zen Habits, or —all of those are great resources on the topic, and all have too many articles on the topic to cite individually. For specific ideas on creating routines for your housekeeping, I can’t recommend Flylady highly enough--she tends toward glurge, but the woman knows how to keep a house clean in the most efficient manner possible.

Morning Routine:
45 minutes cardio workout
Give the bathroom a once-over, including the cat litter
Change into work clothes, makeup, etc.

Commutes: Listen to my Chinese lessons and catch up on my podcasts

After work:
Start dinner
Tidy up two hot spots
Sweep whole house for rogue laundry, dishes, and papers.(Kevin actually does the dishes and laundry, for which I am eternally grateful...)
Today’s activity (could be my weekly cleaning routine, meetings for my non-profit board or other group, weights, date night w/ kevin, weekly baking, personal projects, etc.), then...


Pre-bed routine:
Give the kitchen a once-over, including trash if needed
Today’s deep clean Zone Chore
Put up Laundry
Lay out tomorrow’s clothes
Meditation practice (10 minutes)

BED at a sane hour! (for me, no later than 10:00 now that I’m getting up early…)

One last thing—These routines are goals, not scripture. I flop down on the couch, ask Kevin to hit the takeaway place on the way home, and veg out more evenings than I’d like to admit, and I probably only accomplish all this stuff (in the same day) about twice a month. However, I do most of it on most days, which is a lot better than if I didn’t have the routines at all. And I have enough on my plate as it is without berating myself for letting the trash can sit full in the kitchen for a day. I am not Martha Stewart, and I sure as hell ain’t a fitness guru. But I am interested in living a happy, ordered, moderate life, and my routines have been a handy tool in getting me there. I hope a system like this may be useful to you too.

Next Tuesday: Graduation is drawing near for our friends getting their MLIS degrees, and I’m going to talk about job hunting for librarians, complete with a sample project plan and links to some of the best career resources on the web. See you Thursday for RSS Digest!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

RSS Digest: February 22, 2007

Hey All! It's been a busy week here with go-live looming (the switch is in 4 WEEKS!!! AUGH!), so I'm keeping it short. Here’s the best links I found this week in LIS, time managment, and as always, my favorite reference websites…

LIS Links

Chronicle Careers: 2/20/2007: The New Library Professional Other than the fact that this author just called me (and many of you) "Feral"...very much worth a read if you haven't already.

Open Letter to ILS Vendors | TechEssence.Info WORD. Yes, we're about to go live on one of the biggest of 'em all, but I have a supicion this may be the last time we purchase a proprietary ILS, if things keep trending the way they're trending. This one from Roy Tennant’s a must-read.

Information Wants To Be Free » Blog Archive » Lead, follow or get out of the way

After you read Roy's post (and pick yourself up from your swoon)--read Meredith's. I have GOT to learn more about OA--that's all there is to it.

Feel-good Librarian: A friend in need Ok folks, Vibes/Prayers for FGL please...

LibraryThing: Tagging: LibraryThing and Amazon Worth a read, much like most everything posted over at LibraryThing. I have GOT to get that account set up...but when you work in a library, organizing your books seems a bit less...recreational. *shrug*

Tame The Web: Libraries and Technology: Hurrah! A Better Bill out of Illinois: Internet Safety Education Act We spend a lot of time here in LIS-land ranting about ridiculous pieces of proposed legislation. Ergo, I'm posting a link to something sensible! :-)

LibrarianInBlack: Online genealogy classes I had originally tagged this to share as one of the kewl reference sites of the week. Now I'm tagging it as an object lesson in how NOT to handle your public relations.

Caveat Lector » Unbeholden *nods*

What I Learned Today… » Blog Archive » Extension List Dumper Nifty for us Firefox geeks.

LibrarianInBlack: Library Podcasting Resources for Staff some good resources if you're thinking of starting a podcast.

Chronicle Careers: 2/16/2007: Red-Hot Library Porn I don't know that I'd have ended that article on as glum a note about the future of the humble book--but I'm still so thrilled that someone else loves the stunning architectural triumphs many of us are lucky enough to work in...

Library Juice » Urgent message from LoC Professional Guild

*jaw drops*. I'm honestly shocked this hasn't gotten more link love.

Strange Book Title Quiz Can you guess which one's fake? (and no cheating by logging into worldcat!)

Streamline your Research with Web Research - seems to do it for my needs in this area, but this is an interesting tool for web research, especially if you need to save a website as it appeared at a given moment.

The Kept-Up Academic Librarian: No Wikipedia For These History Students Wikis have their place. Being cited as a scholarly source in a history term paper isn't that place. Kudos Middlebury.

Information Wants To Be Free » Blog Archive » Highlights from Week 1 of Five Weeks to a Social Library I am STILL kicking myself that I didn't get involved in this because I was "too new" and "wouldn't have anything to add". Go, read, comment--and don't listen to your anxieties about speaking up! :-)

Free Range Librarian: My Training Plan... Er... BOPSIASK I already practice my own prof dev plan that looks much like a stripped-down version of this, but this gave me some ideas for life after go-live.

Time management and Productivity Links

Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better | OEDb An interesting set of tips for you lifelong learners out there (and shouldn't that be all of us?)

zen habits: How to do a Weekly Review in Under an Hour GTD-ers! having trouble with your weekly review? Read on...

Organized People are Lazy! - I need this shirt. (oh yeah, this is also a good primer on using your time effectively)

Productivity & Organizing Myth #5 – the right planner (tool) is all you need - I'm about to let you in on one of the deep secrets of organization: THE TOOLS DON'T MATTER. I think I am going to do a post on the power of routines and SOPs, but until this great post from Lifehack.

Music Vs Workflow - I'm about 1 more paycheck's "fun money" away from drinking the ipod koolaid. Here's a great strategy for putting together my work playlist.

zen habits: Top 20 Motivation Hacks - An Overview Need some motivation? give these tricks a whirl.

Think Like Leonardo da Vinci >> Dumb Little Man

The Simple Dollar » 15 Things You Can Do Right Now To Help Your Career

Mice, Antelopes, and Your To-Do List - Interesting read on priority setting.

Cool Reference Sites of the week

HEALTHmap | Global disease alert mapping system THIS...IS...COOL!

SDNHM: Shark School Went to the aquarium with Kevin and his mom the other weekend and saw the sharks, so this is fresh in my mind...

Car & Truck Repair Information, Auto Advice, Car Repair Estimates in Gainesville FL: ECONOMECHANIX I LOVE this site! I have a great little mazda that just past 100,000 miles with barely a murmur, and this has given me some tips for thing to check to make sure she sees 200K+. If you have a car, you need to bookmark this. period.

ResourceShelf » New Showcases from the National Library of New Zealand Matapihi Database I have SO got to figure a way to visit Middle Earth...check out these images and DROOL.

British Library's New Home page oooooh, pretty.....

See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Town & Gown: Notes on our new resource sharing program

As I've mentioned, I work for a smallish (4,000 FTE) university in a medium-small town of about 17,000. As an academic library, we of course are part of the OCLC network, and interlibrary loans flow in and out of here daily. However, our town's awesome public library, which isn't part of any consortium or group, doesn't have the money for that, though they can and do loan and borrow through the state's ILL network. As a college town (and a surprisingly intellectual one for being in the middle of the bible belt), we have lots of retired professors who stayed on in the area, several authors who moved here for the rural setting (that's still within 45 minutes or so of the big city) and cheap cost of living, and plenty of avid readers.

Many of these folks don't have privileges at our library, don't use us often enough to justify purchasing our "community borrower" card ($20 for lifetime privileges), but still occasionally need something a bit more scholarly than they can easily access through the public library.
On the opposite side of the coin, we have lots of students who commute to school here but who don't live or work in this county (the requirement for a card at the public library), and that want to get a hold of a novel that we don't have in stock. (We do try to buy most of the bestsellers as well as particularly popular genres like Fantasy, but we can't get everything...) Enter our awesome serials librarian, Jan, who worked with the director and head of ILL at the public library to create a resource sharing agreement between the two libraries. In a nutshell here's the process.

1. if a patron at library A is looking for a book that library A doesn't have, they or the librarian can pull up the OPAC for library B and see if Library B has it.

2. If Library B has the item, Library A calls Library B, and the item is checked out in Library A's "name". Library A is responsible for keeping records of which patron has which book in case of problems, and will charge the patron to recoup any overdues/lost book fees that accrue.

3. The patron will be given a receipt at library A with the title of the book, which they present at the main desk of library B to pick up the book. When the patron is done with the book, it can be returned to either library (though we prefer library B, for obvious reasons).

The resource sharing scheme has been going for about 2 months as a "pilot program", and we plan to tinker with the system over the summer. Our two libraries are about 5 minutes apart, so it isn't a major hardship to get to library B to pickup. We've put up posters in both libraries explaining the system, and had a nice writeup in the local paper to coincide with the launch. I don't think either side expected this to be a huge source of business, but we're doing 2-3 transactions a week--and those who have done it like the system, so hopefully word of mouth will grow the program.

I know all of us academic librarians communicate well with each other (at least the ones who follow this blog do!), and I'm sure your director goes to lunch with your public library's director on occasion, maybe they even serve on each others' boards. That said, how strong is your library's relationship with your local public library? Go over and introduce yourself to your counterpart, volunteer, offer to do a bit of training on Library 2.0 "stuff", or even work together on a joint outreach project like our resource sharing scheme. There is a lot of overlap between the users of the public library and academic library, and by working together we can support each other, strengthen our presence(s) in the community, and create plenty of win-win situations.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

RSS Digest: February 15, 2007

It’s that time again! Here’s the most interesting stuff I found this week.

LIS Articles

What I Learned Today… » Blog Archive » What makes a librarian? Read, think, respond. :-)

Outgoing: WorldCat Identities Ok, cool toy. Thanks to Walt Crawford for blogging this...

ResourceShelf » Research Paper: Selection and Management of Open Source Software in Libraries; Survey: Adoption of Open Source Digital Library Software Going by the abstract, looks like an interesting analysis of OA in academic libraries.

Library Stories: Libraries & Librarians in the News: Annoyed Librarian asks the tough question *applause* I work in a city that is pretty analagous to weatherford, and I wouldn't change a thing. jobseekers, be willing to be a little adventurous in your searching, and you may find some nifty places!

EDUCAUSE REVIEW |If the Academic Library Ceased to exist, would we have to invent it? Yet another article that makes me confident that the rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated.

Library Stories: Libraries & Librarians in the News: Bartlesville to show Bette I wanna be like Ruth Brown when I grow up. To find out more about Oklahoma's most famous Librarian, click on... :-)

Librarians Without Borders Okay, now this is just cool. » LoC Authority files, yours to keep! Free authority files? is the world coming to an end? I gotta make sure our cataloger knows about this. :-)

Information Wants To Be Free » Blog Archive » Making things happen! Wow! I didn't know Meredith is another social services veteran. This is a great post on how any of us can take a cool idea and make it a reality. That strategy's certainly worked for her...

Free Range Librarian: Your Gummint Nixes Digital Preservation *sigh*

» Jobless jitters I wouldn't go as far as saying that "NEWLIB-L should be required reading..."--but it's worth taking a look at if you haven't. I disagree with a lot of what's posted there, but I've also been very lucky in my LIS career so far...

Productivity/Time Management Articles

Get Rich Slowly » How to Win Friends and Influence People An oldie but a goodie. I don't reread this annually as JD does, but Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, and David Allen are responsible for whatever productivity I've created in my right-brained, scattered self.

zen habits: Zen Mind: How to Declutter I'm a minimalist, Kevin is a collector. We're still working on meeting in the middle, but here are some tips on decluttering for your reading enjoyment.

zen habits: Think about your life goals Have you made a list of what you want to be/do when you grow up?

The Chief Happiness Officer Another new addition to my blogroll...check out this guy's insights on finding fulfillment at work.

Making Your LinkedIn Business Network Pay Dividends - Ya know how I was grumping a week or two back about not getting much benefit from LinkedIn? This has some great tips for making this site work better for you--I'm going to try some things it suggests and report back with progress.

Why you shouldn't buy that new gadget - Lifehacker Blasphemy!!! But definitely worth a read when you're lusting over an iPhone...

Top Ten Dalai Lama Tips - I don't have much to add can you add on to the Dalai Lama anyway?

Being an Entrepreneur Sucks! -- Young Go Getter Every so often I ponder hanging out my shingle as an independent business researcher. Then I read something like this, and explaining how to log into the campus VPN for the 28th time that day doesn't seem nearly as bad of a gig.

How to maximize your first two hours of the day - Lifehacker Some good strategies on starting your day off on the right foot without getting bogged down on "urgent" emails and other minutia.

The only sure-fire investment - On You, Inc.

Reference resources of the week (and a few silly sites)

ResourceShelf » UK: New Web Site: World War II Films from the Home Front Ok, I'm an Anglophile and a WWII buff, making this the coolest history site I've run across in a while. Have fun!

How Good Are Zillow's Estimates? - On the real estate phenomenon known as Zillow--if a patron hasn't asked you about this resource, they will. | The Romance of a Dozen Roses, the Gritty Reality of a Truckload I will never think of a dozen roses in quite the same way again.

Illuminating the Word: The St. John's Bible (A Library of Congress Exhibition) I don't care if you're a hardcore atheist--this thing's a work of art.

How does skywriting and skytyping work? Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress This is why I'm here. To share reference resources on the fine art of skywriting.

The Book of Household Management, by Isabella Beeton This week's highly cool archival find. Thank you Librarian's Index to the Internet--I now have a great employee manual to pass on to my next under-housemaid.

NPR : The Partisans of Ali Do you know less than you should about Islam? (and if you're not muslim, you probably know as less than you should about Islam). This great series NPR did this week gives a good primer. I finally understand the difference between Shia and Sunni!

The Man in Seat Sixty-One... I've always wanted to take a REALLY long voyage by boat or train--like an ocean crossing or the Orient express. Until I can finagle a month off work to make that happen, I'll read this site and dream...

LibrarianInBlack: Kitty goodness Title says it all. Cat people, surf away.

Wheel of Food Now this thing is just cool. Tired of snagging a cold sandwich in the library cafe for lunch, but not sure what you want? give this site a "whirl" and see what you come up with...

Stroke Warning Signs - This week's public service link, courtesy of lifehacker.

That’s it until Saturday, when I’m going to do that long-promised progress report on my indexcard GTD implementation. I’m sure you’re all aquiver with anticipation. See you soon!