Go for it!

Posted in Education,Information,Technology by millerlibrarian on September 14, 2009

Check this out!


In honor of the IPL’s upcoming 15th birthday at March 17, 2010, the IPL will be launching the IPL 15 Things – introducing 15 of our favorite online technologies, with background information, best practices, related readings, examples of how the IPL is using the technology, and hands-on exercises. Explore our first of 15 “Things,” Blogging, and take the 15 Things Challenge!


On being truly embedded

Posted in Education,Technology by millerlibrarian on August 6, 2009

Well, I’m on my way to gathering research on what it takes to best serve distance/online students in the virtual environment.  I’m very interested in discovering what programs provide this opportunity.  In my mind, this would be a truly embedded librarian, in the course delivery system and the courses themselves.  Many of the platforms and courses that I’ve seen or have taken do include a link to library resources and even the occasional link to Ask a Librarian.  Unfortunately, these links go directly to the main library web site and services.  As online participants, that is an already accessible avenue.  What I see is the need for specialized service – structured specifically for and with the needs of this wholly different environment in mind.  Specific resources picked and set up to address the unique needs of online students and instructors.

To go one step further, I think that services in general need to be re-thought in terms of online students.  Think about it – physical attendance often includes some sort of orientation; fin aid, admissions, library, student services, etc.  For distance ed, there does not seem to be any pathfinder for this information, and you certainly cannot drop in to check on something.   It can be a frustrating experience for many students.

Many of the opportunities for community are applicable to virtual learning – but they need to be supported and structured for a good fit.  Mentoring programs, study groups, alumni participation – all of these should be equally achievable for the online student.

So, how to make myself into a widget…What do you think?

Another Library Minute

Posted in Information,Technology by millerlibrarian on July 29, 2009

My Infoquest and The Handheld Librarian

Posted in Information,Technology by millerlibrarian on July 2, 2009

The time is approaching…MyInfoquest will launch on July 20th.  We currently have 36 libraries participating in this collaborative text reference service.  The advisory committee and subcommittees have been meeting regularly and working hard.

This project is a pilot project slated to run through December, 2009.  We are working on securing funding to continue the service.  One of the ways that we are doing this is through an upcoming conference “The Handheld Librarian.”  This is a one-day, virtual conference offering presentations on a wide variety of topics.

Please take a look at the conference site – the attendance fee is more than reasonable and you are supporting a groundbreaking library service by attending!

The Digital “Population”

Posted in Education,Technology by millerlibrarian on June 27, 2009

I’ve just been able to start reading Born Digital by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser and just the introduction has me thinking about so many different things.  This book seems like it is going to be really great and right on.  So, as I come across interesting points, I thought that I would share them and see what others think.

I usually cringe when people refer to the Net Generation and their technology use and/or skills.  I think that there is an assumption by some that this means that this group has advanced skills.  As a librarian, I immediately think of searching for information, databases, etc, and think – yeah, most don’t have these skills.

This book talks about those born after 1980 and instead of calling them a generation, they refer to them as a population, pointing to the fact that  “of the 6 billion people in the world only 1 billion even have access to digital technologies.”  The authors talk about the real issues and those that fear has turned into overreaction.

I look forward to sharing thoughts on this – have you read it?

What do you think?

Public Access Technologies (PATs)

Posted in Information,of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on June 21, 2009

After reading the article Public Access Technologies in Public Libraries:  Effects and Implications in Information Technology and Libraries, a few things stood out to me.  I have been a big proponent of PATs, but this article makes me step back and think of the effects and implications on public libraries.

In exploring the current and ever evolving tools used on the Internet, it is important to think about the many ways in which this impacts all parts of our libraries, from staff to hardware/software to services.  I get very excited about talking about and teaching people new tools and tricks in and for library settings, but realize that it is important to consider the longer term implications of this.

I think that the best way to do this is to put it out there – Yes, we will need continued, maybe even increased, tech support;  Yes, we will need to think about connectivity issues;  Yes, we will need to think about staff time and effort.  So, OK let’s plan for it – and not just financial planning.  Collaborative planning – how can we work together within library systems; who can we include and count on as part of the team; how do we successfully deal with external and internal pressures.

I guess what I’m saying is that I realize better that it is a two part message that I hope to continue to share:  Here are some really great tools and resources to use at your library and with your users AND here is what you need to think about and plan for in advance.  Do I have the answers, no of course not, but problems don’t go away if you don’t bring them up.  We need to face and tackle these effects and implications – so, let’s do it!

What do you think?

True Confessions of a tech gadget addict…

Posted in of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on June 2, 2009

I am a tech gadget addict – there I’ve said it.  I love to hear about and play with new gadgets.  I thought that I would list some of these and tell a bit about why I got them and what I like about them.

USB modem:  Probably the best investment I’ve made.  Now, this is not an extravagance for me.  I work completely virtually, so I need to be able to connect at all times.  There have been several occasions at home where that has been an “issue” with my ISP and I just plug in my modem and I’m all set.  This is also really useful because it seems that most hotels charge for Internet use.  Additionally, college campuses require an id to log on to wifi, and you can’t always count on it at conference locations.

Netbook:  A gift for Valentine’s Day!  It is perfect for conferences and meetings.  It is small enough to fit in a small bag and has just enough juice and power to keep notes and stay connected during meetings and conferences.  The size and power are ideal for this purpose.

Blackberry:  OK, first – MORE APPS PLEASE.  I love my BB – it allows me to be mobile and active with my kids and family and also be available for email and chat (for work).  A recent obsession has been the camera – I am finally taking full advantage of it and uploading directly to flickr.  Recent comment from hubby – “you even have flash!”  Why, yes, yes I do! Added info:  forgot to mention GPS and Google Maps/Mobile apps!

Laptop/PC:  My laptop is great for mobility at home.  I can move around the house to be near my kids or away from them 🙂  It’s got a good graphics card, not huge, but still useful.  My PC is strictly for work.  It is useful as well for connecting at times when I can’t seem to get there with my laptop, or for big work!

Smartpen:  due to arrive today!  I will share soon…Update:  There is something a little strange about a pen that talks!  On a serious note – this is a really useful gadget.  Although I am still going through the learning curve (always it seems with new tech), it seems that it is just a matter of taking a bit of time to sit and learn and go through functions.

(felt I had to include, I’m not endorsing or promoting anything – just sharing!)

So, there are my thoughts.  Now that I am down one job, I may have to slow down 😦 but I have enough to keep me techie for now!

BTW:  didn’t even touch gaming…Our house = PS3, PSP and Wii…  Just got Wii fit and Wii Active!

What do you think?

InfoQuest Project with Alliance Library System

Posted in Information,of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on May 5, 2009

I admit it – I actually read the postings to the various listservs that I subscribe to.  Although there are many, the information and opportunities shared are worth it!  This is how I came across the InfoQuest project, initiated by Lori Bell, from the Alliance Library System.  This project is a collaborative multi-type text-based reference service project.   It is a partnership with the Alliance Library System, the School of Library & Information Science of San Jose State University, TAP Information Services, and Altarama.  There are currently 25 libraries (and 2 personal volunteers – where I come in!).

Participating libraries will agree to staff the collaborative service for two hours a week; attend online training sessions and planning meetings; market the service within their communities, and provide feedback about the service. Customizable training and promotional materials will be provided. Librarians will not be using a cell phone to provide service; they will log into a project website or project email address to receive and provide answers to questions. (information from the SCRLC blog)

I am very excited about this project.  It is an amazing opportunity to work with and experience the collective effort of public, academic and other libraries in an attempt to meet users where they are at, using an access method that is continuously increasing.  This type of community effort is truly exciting to be part of and a model to be followed!

What do you think?

Posted in Information,of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on May 1, 2009

PLNs and Social Media Analytics

Posted in Information,of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on April 27, 2009

Two interesting topics that I have decided to group together – there is a strong connection between the two.  I had not thought of either of these terms/concepts and now cannot stop thinking of them!  I learned of PLNs (Professional or Personal Learning Networks) from a post by Joyce Valenza in SLJ.  I have been building up my PLN and have learned SO much – I only hope to pay it forward.

Enter into this Social Media Analytics.  Most of our PLNs include a large variety of social sharing.  Well, time to start learning more about our current connections (and hopefully create more!).  I am interested in tracking social media analytics to learn more about my PLNs and those not included yet.  For instance, Where are my professional connections coming from? What topics are most common or interesting to them?

As WordPress user’s know, we have fantastic stats and tracking options available.  So, now to begin exploring my options with SM analytics.  My next steps:  setting my tracking goal(s) and then exploring tools and metrics.  More to come on this…

What do you think?

Next Page »