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... :-)