Thursday, July 31, 2008

Link Love

I usually go all "Link Love" on Fridays, but I have a big post that I'm prepping for tomorrow so here is a little love on Thursday.


NEFLIN Annual Meeting and Gaming Article

Did I mention registration is open for the NEFLIN Annual Meeting? First come, first serve, so register yourself and ten friends now!

Our speaker for the Annual Meeting is Helene Blowers, who blogs at LibraryBytes. Today's post is a good one Gaming is Storytelling for Teenagers.


Jacksonville Public Library Offers Online Library Card Registration

JPL is continuing their efforts to bring the library and its services to the modern era; offering an ecard registration to its customers is just one way they’re meeting their goals. Customers who choose to use this method of registering will experience shorter wait times at the circulation desks when they pick up their physical library cards.

Library users will need only to log on to and select the My Online Library link and follow the instructions to apply for a library card. After completing the form, a confirmation email with the customer’s Library eCard account number will be delivered to the email address they supply within 24/48 hours.

Immediately upon receipt of the library eCard account number, customers will have access to most electronic resources on the website from your home, including magazine and newspaper databases, encyclopedias, our Special Collections, and downloadable audio.


Double Your Pleasure

The Librarian in Black scores a rare double as I can recommend two recent posts from her blog.

Bad Economy? Go to the Public Library.

17+ Things you can do with Online Photos


Baldwin Collection of Historical Children's Literature

If you haven’t taken the time to look at the Baldwin Collection in person (the best way to experience it), or online, now is the time to do so.

The collection earned another accolade recently when “The Collectors Weekly”, selected the Baldwin Website for their Hall of Fame.

The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature is housed at the University of Florida. It contains more than 100,000 volumes published in Great Britain and the United States from the early 1700s through the current year. Its holdings of more than 800 early American imprints is the second largest such collection in the United States.

This vast assemblage of literature printed primarily for children offers an equally vast territory of topics for the researcher to explore: education and upbringing, family and gender roles, civic values, racial, religious, and moral attitudes, literary style and format, and the arts of illustration and book design.


The Cheapskate

"The Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets, and all the other tech stuff that makes life worth living."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stress Management: Fundamentals for Employees and Managers

Feeling the pressure?

In this timely and important workshop, you will learn to identify the warning signs of excessive stress. This interactive program provides you with the opportunity to learn about the different types of stress, how to identify internal changes you can make to manage your stress better, and about the external changes you can make to reduce your stress levels.

Register today for Stress Management: Fundamentals for Employees and Managers

Need 4 more registrations!

Trainer: Andrea Giggetts, Giggetts & Associates
Friday, August 22
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Bradford County Public Library, Starke

Monday, July 28, 2008

Come Play Games with NEFLIN

Registration now open for
NEFLIN's Annual Meeting

Game's People Play
Friday, September 12
Embassy Suites - Jacksonville/Baymeadows

Join other NEFLIN members for a day of fun, learning, and networking.

Why attend? You'll learn about NEFLIN's services that are available free to members. There will be a sneak peek into what's coming in October 2008. Don't attend and you'll miss your opportunity to really learn how your library can take advantage of these services.

Try the Game Room and learn how libraries reach their communities through gaming events.

Keynote Speaker - Helene Blowers, creator of 23 Things

Free for Library Directors
$25 for all others

Register now!

Friday, July 25, 2008

August Online Training Opportunities

Are you looking for training on your desktop? Here's a look at some programs available in July. Don't forget to check the NEFLIN workshop schedule and remember that many of these programs will be archived and available for viewing at a later date if you miss the program.

Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library: WebJunction Learning Webinar
Tuesday, August 5

Engaging with our New Community of Practice: Spanish Language Outreach Webinar
Tuesday, August 12

Communication Between Techies and Non-Techies: MaintainIT Cookbook Webinar
Wednesday, August 13

Creating a Technology Petting Zoo: WebJunction Learning Webinar
Thursday, August 14

Gale Powersearch - the new interface for the Florida Electronic Library
Friday, August 15
Friday, August 29

Who's Your Emergency Management Contact?

Many thanks again to Kara McClurken, Preservation Services Librarian at Solinet, for this guest post.

"It's all about the relationships"
That’s a quote from the Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) conference I attended this week in Atlanta. The conference brought together emergency management, information technology, and archives and records management staff together to discuss ways to secure the nation’s essential records. One of the things I hear over and over when going to conferences like these is the fact that the time to be introducing yourself to emergency management personnel is not during an actual emergency.

Do you know who your county emergency manager is? Does he or she know who YOU are? If you don’t already know them, my task for you during the month of August is to make their acquaintance. Bake some cookies and invite them over—show them all the fantastic collections you have and ask them what you can do to better help them help you. Ask them where your institution fits into the county emergency management plan. Exchange those business cards now, BEFORE the next hurricane comes through.

For more information about how your library can prepare for a hurricane, register for Hurricane Preparedness, a live online workshop in September.

This blog posting is the third in a series that SOLINET staff will do for NEFLIN during the hurricane season. If you have ideas/questions for future postings, please let me know.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 Gets a Redesign

Visit the redesigned Web site and find valuable information, lesson plans, product reviews and more! Some things to look for -

  • Videos about Gale events and products
  • A redesigned user interface that makes it easier to find information on the site
  • A redesigned Toolbox section that contains more support materials, such as lesson plans and downloadable bookmarks with ideas for incorporating many of the Gale resources that are available for free to Florida's public schools through the Florida Electronic Library.
  • The Grants Goldmine with links to grants and grant writing tips
  • A Student Activity center with ideas for kids and teens
  • The addition of ReadSpeaker technology, which allows visitors to hear the content on the site

Predict the Future of Federated Search

WOW! Who knew there was a federated search blog? While I know I won't read it regularly it was really quite interesting. But the reason for the post is I want someone to win a free trip to Computers in Libraries 2009.

The Federated Search Blog launched a writing contest in June.

What will the landscape of federated search look like in ten years?

Three prizes will be awarded by blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies for the best original essays predicting the future of federated search technology.

  • First prize is $500.
  • Second prize is $250.
  • Third prize is $100.
Plus they sweetened the pot in July when they announced that the first prize entry would be published in Computers in Libraries Magazine and present their entry at CIL 2009. Deep Web Technologies will pay travel and lodging for the winner.

Read more about it and let us know how you do. Deadline to enter is August 1st.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Buyer's Guide and ERMS

The July issue of Computers in Libraries contains two interesting things. First off this is the annual "Buyer's Guide" issue. The good folks at CIL have been nice enough to make the Buyer's Guide and Consultants Directory available for free on their website. You can search this database for current information on a wide variety of products and vendors.

The second thing that may pique your interest is the cover story on "Electronic Resource Management Systems" (ERMS) by Marshall Breeding. ERMS is software that assists you in managing your subscriptions to electronic content. If you have access to a large number of ejournals, and the like, this would be a worthwhile read.

"We're confiscating this library computer..."

What would you do if the police showed up in your library and said they needed to take public computers as part of an investigation into a child's disappearance - but without a warrant?

Would you start unplugging or require a warrant first? Would your staff know what to do if managers weren't around?

Read what a Vermont children's librarian did when this happened in her library and then consider using this scenario as part of staff training.

For information on handling Intellectual Freedom issues - including privacy, material challenges, censorship, the USA Patriot Act and more - you can always contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom for assistance.

I want to be a librarian

Yesterday, Christie Koontz from FSU College of Information and Andrea LaRochelle from USF School of Library & Information Science were at NEFLIN to provide information to folks interested in earning a Master's Degree to become a professional librarian or media specialist. They answered questions about the two Florida degree programs, covering admission requirements, distance learning options, costs, and available financial aid. They'll be in Starke today for another group. It's exciting to see so many people interested in pursuing a degree and continuing their library career.

If you missed the session and have questions, we encourage you to contact them.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Free Federal Publications in Spanish

The Federal Citizens Information Center is providing free Federal publications in Spanish on health, money management, Social Security, housing, and more. These publications are available in large quantities for you to share with individuals who would prefer to receive information in Spanish.

Supplies are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will receive free copies of a wide variety of publications. Order today!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The 2007 Gaming Census

You can participate in an annual survey designed to collect information about gaming programs run in libraries in 2007. This can be any type of game (board, card, video, chess, puzzle) at any type of library (public, school, academic, or special).

Read more about this on the Shifted Librarian's blog.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Proving Your Worth and Adding Value

The Florida Association of College and Research Libraries (FACRL) is having their annual workshop in Jacksonville this fall. "Proving Your Worth and Adding Value to Your Institution" will be held on Friday, November 7, at the University of North Florida.

Read more about the program and view registration information on the FACRL website.

Workshop Fees:
FACRL or FLA member -- $60.00
Non-Members of FACRL or FLA -- $65.00

Reexamining Customer Service

In the July issue of Successful Meetings there was what some might consider a controversial piece on customer service. In these days of cutting back customer retention becomes quite critical (even in libraries). After providing some great examples of "customer disservice", Dr. Tom McDonald suggests some unconventional options for improving customer service -
  • give everyone who interfaces with customers a personality test - find out whether or not they like people
  • choose staff to engage with customers based on the level of their experience and the quality of customer feedback
  • reward staff for the positive feedback you get about them from customers
  • if we reward people for doing a good job, we ought to give some punishment for doing jobs poorly - this could take the form of an assessment
He ends with some interesting thoughts. "It has been said that people buy people, not products.... If we don't improve our relations with customers during this tough time, they will soon be gone, and our business will migrate to someone else." Definitely something to think about.

And if your looking for customer service training to reinvigorate yourself -- check the NEFLIN workshop schedule. There are some great workshops coming up on stress management, working with difficult patrons, and improving communication skills. There are also a number of great items in the Multimedia Lending Library that you can borrow for your personal viewing or to share at a staff meeting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Go to Wiki Summer Camp

Build the ultimate classroom wiki and have it ready for the start of the fall semester.

PBwiki Summer Camp

Are you an educator who has heard about wikis but just aren't sure how to use them in your classroom? This six-week program will teach you how to create the best wiki for your classroom -- including how to integrate wikis in your lesson plans, what features work best to engage students and how to use the new PBwiki 2.0. You'll also have an opportunity to connect with wiki mentors.

All campers who complete the program will receive a free platinum wiki that lasts the entire school year (valued at $1,000)

Read more and sign up for PBwiki Summer Camp

Surplus Property = Cheap Computers

The Suwannee River Water Management District has surplus items, including computers, that may be of use to other governmental agencies. The District is making these items available to all local units of government through a bid process. Please note that in the past even nominal bids of $5 or $10 per lot turned out to be the high bid, making this an excellent opportunity for your library to obtain some usable items at a very reasonable price. The District encourages all interested units of local government and public schools to submit a bid.

Bid Opening will be Friday, August 8, 2008 at 3:00pm.
Eligibility - your county must be served by the Suwannee River Water Management District (if you aren't in SRWMD check with your local water management district to determine what they do with their surplus equipment)
To receive a copy of the bid document or if you have any questions, contact Linda R. Smith, Procurement Coordinator at 386-362-1001 or email

Thanks to Phalbe Henriksen at Bradford County Public Library (who learned about it from Danny Hales at Suwannee River Regional Library) for sharing this information. Both Phalbe and Danny have purchased computers for their libraries through the District.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Your Library Site added to Group Discount Program

The newest addition to NEFLIN's Group Discount Program..."Your Library Site" offers affordable Website Development & Service Programs for Public Libraries.

View the complete list of vendors for this program to learn more about this discount and the other 47 vendors that currently participate.

To suggest other vendors we should contact, please visit the Group Discount page and send in a "Vendor Suggestion Form".

LITA's Great Debate and Top Tech Trends

I've been reading Karen Schneider's Free Range Librarian blog and really enjoying it. Her ALA Round Up referenced the LITA Great Debate - "There's No Catalog Like No Catalog" which was available as a podcast. With a title like that I had to go listen to at least a bit of it. They put together a great panel (including Karen and Stephen Abrams and moderator Roy Tennant) and it's fascinating listening. When it started with "What is the appropriate role for the library catalog, what are they good for and what aren't they good for?" I knew it would be entertaining. It's actually a very clear recording and very easy listening. (About 105 minutes)

She also referenced the LITA Tech Trends (though not so positively). This is a session that fills fast and I didn't get a seat so I was pleased to be able to hear the podcast and read various blog postings to give me a sense of what the trenders are saying. It's interesting to listen to but you have to ignore some tech interference. (About 90 minutes)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Member Highlight: New River Public Library Cooperative

Many thanks to Ginny Bird, Director of New River Public Library Cooperative for this post. New River Public Library Cooperative is the administrative unit for the public libraries in Baker, Bradford, and Union Counties. Ginny is the first of our member libraries to take me up on the offer to post information about their library here on the Blah Blah Blah Blog.

Busy, busy, busy…that describes all libraries during summer library program time.

Libraries in Baker, Bradford and Union counties report a full schedule of programs for school age children and teens…all aimed at keeping children reading during summer vacation.

A variety of programs with professional storytellers, magicians, musicians, puppets and animals delight our young visitors. Storyteller and musician Ajamu Mutima was a popular program in Baker and Union Counties showing children the Whole Wide World from Africa. Bradford County children went to Australia with Didgeridoo Down Under.

Teens in Bradford County are eating “Fear Factor Food” from around the world, while those in Union County are gaming “until their eyes drop out.’

And as all of us do, we keep these programs going while circulating thousands of items, helping people use the computers, and answering questions. Bradford County is settling into its beautiful new building, Union County construction will start soon, and Baker County (Emily Taber Library) will expand their historic building sometime next year.

If you would like to see your library featured in the Member Highlight, contact Stephanie (904-278-5620)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Brad at ALA - Cooperative Stuff

I spent most of the conference attending meetings of ICAN, which is the ALA group for cooperative staff. A recent national study was done of cooperatives in the U.S. The findings were discussed in detail at two sessions I attended.

Why should you as a NEFLIN member care about this? It is important that NEFLIN staff keep up with what is going on at other cooperatives, just as much as you would be interested in libraries that are similar in size/scope/community served. It allows you to compare your services and statistics.

NEFLIN can consider future growth opportunities by seeing what other services cooperatives are providing. Sometimes NEFLIN is at the forefront, and sometimes we like others to strike out first and we follow behind learning from their successes and failures.

Brad at ALA - Rethinking Resource Sharing

I attended a great preconference at ALA this year entitled "Rethinking Resource Sharing". One of the organizers of the preconference was former NEFLIN employee, Gina Persichini. Gina is now a bigwig at the State Library of Idaho. She also did a fabulous job facilitating the meeting.

We started out with Stephen Abram giving his usual provocative talk (his ppt is here).

Some interesting points he made:

995 of the top 1,000 ILLs last year can be bought on Amazon for $4.00 or less.

Why don’t libraries send these books as a gift to the patron’s home? You could add a note “when you are done with this book, please consider donating it to the library”. The average cost to do an ILL is still around $30.

ILLs when purchased circulate 7 times more than other books.

Why don’t libraries lend VHS tapes? Is the VHS format something that cherished?

E-mail is for old people. Millenials use text and instant messaging. Penn State University put together library staff and student athletes to help them in their studies. Staff and athletes who corresponded via e-mail had no increase in graduation rate. Those who corresponded with text or IM increased their graduation rate by 30%.

Cisti (Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information) digitizes all ILLs because 90% are requested again.

When people use the wireless in your library make the default homepage your library’s website. All hotels do this. Many libraries do not.

China opened a new university every week last year. The U.S. will graduate 60,000 engineers next year. China will graduate 1.2 million.

Open Source is free…like a kitten.

My son has the ability (through social networking sites like Facebook) to keep in contact with every friend he has ever had.

Wireless capability in 99% of the U.S. is now complete. Google has spent over 1 billion so far as part of this effort. Devices can now be plugged into any electric outlet and give an entire home wireless access. Your new ISP may be your local electric company.

75% of Americans read a book in 2007. This is double what it was in 1947. Millenials read four times more books than boomers.


Next we heard from three speakers:

Jim Myers of Orange County Public Library (FL) described their home delivery service, MAYL. Started in 1974 this service delivers any item placed on hold to the patron's home through a local courier delivery service. Last year MAYL circulated 720,000 items making it the third busiest "branch" in the system. Requests: 60% Books, 20% DVDs, 10% music CDs, 5% audiobooks, and 5% VHS.

Ed Davidson of OCLC discussed interoperability of delivery systems.

Perry Willett described the "Scan on Demand" program at the University of Michigan. This program scans any public domain item that is requested through ILL and provides it to the patron electronically.

After lunch you could attend breakout sessions with any of the above speakers.


Finally we discussed the "Rethinking Resource Sharing" (RRS) initiative. This group has put together a good deal of documentation on the RRS website, but it boils down to this statement:

"We believe that the user should be able to get what s/he wants on the terms that s/he chooses without undue hurdles from the library community."

Here are their primary goals:

  1. Restrictions shall only be imposed as necessary by individual institutions with the goal that the lowest-possible-barriers-to-fulfillment are presented to the user.
  2. Library users shall be given appropriate options for delivery format, method of delivery, and fulfillment type, including loan, copy, digital copy, and purchase.
  3. Global access to sharable resources shall be encouraged through formal and informal networking agreements with the goal towards lowest-barrier-to-fulfillment.
  4. Sharable resources shall include those held in cultural institutions of all sorts: libraries, archives, museums, and the expertise of those employed in such places.
  5. Reference services are a vital component to resource sharing and delivery and shall be made readily accessible from any initial "can't supply this" response. No material that is findable should be totally unattainable.
  6. Libraries should offer service at a fair price rather than refuse but should strive to achieve services that are not more expensive than commercial services, e.g. bookshops.
  7. Library registration should be as easy as signing up for commercial web based services. Everyone can be a library user.

Whew! All in all a great day. A lot to ponder.

If you would like to participate in one of the RRS discussion groups or sign up for their listserv visit this page on the RRS site.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blog Posts of the Month

We had two posts this past month, one personal and one professional, that tied for "Blog Post of the Month". Here are two of June's best posts.

PowerSearch Works! (by Stephanie)

Back in May I blogged about how to increase usage of your Gale databases by adding a PowerSearch box to your webpage. I'm pleased to report that Ginny Bird at New River Public Library Cooperative tried it and has seen the usage in the three Coop libraries increase 30 times over the average use for the last seven months. They had just 62 searches in April and 1,917 in May.

Are there any other libraries out there who've tried it and want to brag about their success? Email

Don't know about the Gale databases? Visit the Florida Electronic Library!

Babypalooza at the Fire Station (by Brad)

The Ward family had a wonderful time celebrating two birthdays this past weekend. Since both of my children have the same birthday (one year apart), we had what I referred to as “Babypalooza”. The Clay County Fire Department hosted our birthday party (at no charge) and did a great job. We had a tour of the local fire station, inside and out.

The two firemen who were on duty pulled a fire truck out into the parking lot and let us climb all over it. We got to ring the bell, turn on the siren, and play with Smokey the Firehouse Dog! Inside the fire station we saw where the guys work, play, and sleep.

Outside we banged around a fire truck piƱata full of candy, played on the adjacent playground, and just had a great time.

Enjoy some photos on NEFLIN’s Flickr page

Alligators in Your Backyard?

The State Library & Archives announced that several really interesting collections have been added to the Florida Memory Project. Here's an excerpt from their newsletter -

Alligators in the Backyard Photo Exhibit

Male alligator bellowing during mating seasonThe alligator resides in the popular imagination as one of the most widely recognized symbols of Florida. From the earliest Native American and European explorers to present day tourists, visitors have maintained a fascination with the cold-blooded freshwater reptile. The alligator, which was once hunted and harvested to near extinction, has thrived in recent years, although its natural habitat has not. Nonetheless, gators can be found throughout Florida's popular culture, from tourist attractions and alligator wrestlers to postcards and team mascots.

Photo: Courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection.

Civil War Guide

State Archives staff compiled a new online research tool titled A Guide to Civil War Records at the State Archives of Florida. The guide identifies and describes the state, federal, and private records pertaining to Florida's Civil War era (1860-1865) housed at the State Archives of Florida. Of note is the section titled "Florida and the Civil War: A Short History," which was written by State Archives staff member Dr. Boyd Murphree. The State Archives created this guide with the goal of assisting current historical research and promoting future study of this significant time period in Florida's history.

75th Anniversary of the New Deal with WPA Photo Exhibit

Conch Town Cover ArtIn recognition of the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, the State Library and Archives of Florida re-created a photographic exhibit that was first developed by the Florida Works Projects Administration in 1939. The original exhibit, titled Conch Town, documented Bahamian immigrants living in Riviera Beach, Florida. The new exhibit includes the 30 original photographs and captions, along with the original catalog and news clippings about the exhibit. The images represent only a small portion of the New Deal-related records and publications found at the State Library and Archives.

In May 1939, Florida WPA photographer and artist Charles Foster accepted an assignment to take photographs for Florida Writers Project writer Veronica Huss' profile of the "Conchs" on Riviera Beach. At the time, locals used the derogatory slang term to describe immigrants from the Bahamas. Armed with his Reflex-Korelle single-lens camera and four rolls of 12-exposure black and white film, Foster spent the day photographing Veronica and her subjects.

Photo: Courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection.

State Library and Archives of Florida Presents Historic Recordings of the Florida Folk Festival Online

In celebration of the 2008 Florida Folk Festival, the State Archives of Florida has expanded its online resources to offer historic recordings of all the Florida Folk Festivals from 1954 through 1979 for free listening and downloading.

Last summer, the State Archives offered a podcast of the very first recording of the Florida Folk Festival, recorded on reel-to-reel tape on May 6, 1954. The first recording features performances by local school children, representatives of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, folk singers, and opening remarks by festival director and renowned founder of the National Folk Festival, Sarah Gertrude Knott.

Now folklife fans can visit the Folklife Audio Page to download and listen to 26 years of Florida Folk Festivals, most of them in their entirety, totaling hundreds of hours of audio.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don't Reinvent the Wheel

That's the tagline at MaintainIt. I was fortunate to participate in an online Train-the-Trainer program they did yesterday which reminded me of the cool stuff they have available. If you aren't familiar with this resource I encourage you to go take a look. Here are some of the great things they're doing -
  • Cookbooks filled with tips and techniques collected from libraries across the country are available for free download. Use them to help keep your public computers running.
  • 30-minute webinars focused on topics from the cookbooks. July's program is about PC Reservation systems. There's a library in Colorado that has created their own system - it's open source and yours for the taking. Our very own Alachua County was featured in the first program.
  • Cookbook Book Clubs, free webinars where you can learn in an informal and friendly setting about the public access computing resources others have used in their libraries. Share how you used the Cookbooks, learn from the experiences of others, and use the Cookbooks to DO something in your library. The July book club will discuss, "Meal Plan 5 - PC Reservation/Management Software"
  • Discussion forum on WebJunction where "difficulties are aired and solutions are shared."
  • e-Newsletter that tells about upcoming FREE webinars, trainings, and new content.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Take a Bite out of Reading, Writing and Research with the APPLE Research Method

If you weren't able to register for the NEFLIN workshop Take a Bite out of Reading, Writing and Research with the APPLE Research Method, scheduled for July 10 at NEFLIN, you now have another chance.

The workshop, to be taught by Media Specialist Consultant Angie Sapp, has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 2.


“Information Literacy” is one of those terms you hear about all the time, but what exactly does it mean? How can you work information literacy training into your library media curriculum? The new Florida Sunshine State Standards will include an information literacy component for every grade level in Language Arts, so these questions are going to be increasingly important.

The APPLE Research model was developed in Clay County to help school library media specialists, classroom teachers, and administrators integrate information literacy instruction into any subject area, on any grade level. The object of this training is for teachers and library media specialists to work smarter, not harder in helping students learn to manage the vast overload of information everyone is bombarded with every day. This research model is easy-to-use and incorporates information literacy into every aspect of life, not just school!

Trainer: Angie Sapp, Media Specialist Consultant
Date: Thursday, October 2
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: NEFLIN in Orange Park

Bradford County News

Phalbe Henriksen has resigned as Director of the Bradford County Public Library. After almost 13 years in Starke, Phalbe has accepted a job as director of Alexander County Public Library in Taylorsville, NC. Her last day is Wednesday, July 16th. Good luck Phalbe - I'm going to miss you!

Robert Perone, currently the Reference Librarian at BCPL has been appointed Acting Director of Bradford County Public Library. Robert is currently participating in the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute.

Grants to Rural & Urban Libraries Serving At-Risk Children


Lois Lenski, the 1946 Newbery medalist for Strawberry Girl, had a life-long concern that all children have access to good books. In pursuit of this goal, she established a foundation to provide grants to public and school libraries serving disadvantaged populations.

The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation annually awards grants to rural and urban, public and school libraries serving at-risk children. The Foundation gives priority to applications from libraries with real need and limited book budgets. Funds are earmarked for purchasing books for young people rather than administrative or operational use. Previously awarded grants have ranged from $500 to $3,000. Successful applicants have proposed purchases to update their collections generally or to expand their holdings in specific areas.

Complete instructions and a pdf application form.

Deadline to apply: September 15, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hurricane Preparedness - LIVE Online class

As mentioned in Stephanie's earlier blog post, we've added a three-part Solinet Live Online class on Hurricane Preparedness:

Description: Using lessons learned by institutions that have faced a region-wide disaster, this class examines the specifics of hurricane readiness.

Many lessons have been learned from recent hurricanes. Based on the first-hand experiences of their colleagues, this class provides an opportunity for institutions in hurricane-prone areas to examine their level of planning and preparedness, specifically hurricane readiness and response.

Having a realistic, functional plan is critical to successful response and recovery. There are steps that institutions can take now (regardless of the size of the staff or the annual budget) that can help guarantee the best possible outcome. Taught in three two-hour sessions, this class will use the successes and failures of institutions that have faced a region-wide disaster as the starting point to examine the specifics of hurricane readiness. Topics will include building preparation, collection considerations, staff readiness, and what to expect if a hurricane strikes your institution.

Intended audience: This class is designed for staff members of libraries, archives and other cultural institutions located in hurricane areas and responsible for, or interested in, preparing for hurricanes to help minimize damage to their building and collections.

Class meets: Wednesday, September 10, 17 and 24 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.
You must attend all three sessions.

Technical Requirements

The Best of ALA

Here's my wrap-up of miscellaneous cool things that happened in Anaheim -

Saw many many orange bags. I did use mine to safely transport the lovely blue boa home.

I love ALA because it's the one time a year I get to see people. You never know who you'll run into on a shuttle bus (Amy who is now a Research Fellow at Pew Internet & American Life Project), in a meeting (John, who's hosting SSLLI5), at a party (Robin who participated in SSLLI1 and hosted SSLLI3 before moving to Pittsburg), or on the dance floor (Ted from SSLLI4). I never saw Gina though I know she was there.

Shout out to Emerald for a great reception where I saw Lisa, Lisa, and Cory and to the 3M/NMRT social where it's always fun to see librarians (Danny & Sheila) dance and watch the hotel staff marvel. I did miss Rachel and Meredith this year but there's something about ALA and little babies that don't mix well.

Got to meet Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea. He actually spoke at the Auditorium Speaker Series but I had to be at the WebJunction Roundtables so I missed him. But... I went back for the author signing and got a free autographed copy of the book from Penguin. Very cool - he talked to everyone who went through the line. If you haven't read the book I encourage you to give it a try.

I got Andrew Clements autograph. I'm always on the hunt for books for my sister's school in Guatemala. Andrew Clements is the new favorite of both my niece and the kids at school. So I got an autographed set for Rebeka and books for the school. The big success of the weekend was finding the Scholastic Lectorum booth and learning that she would sell me whatever she had on Tuesday morning. So I saved a bit of room and came home with 5 Andrew Clements in Spanish! My other big Spanish language finds Tuesday morning were Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and Richard Scarry at 50% off. Woo hoo!! I think I scored some big points with the kids for next year.

There was a whole gaming pavilion in the exhibit hall. Who knew there was so much stuff? What do you think the chances are I can get Brad to send me to the Gen Con Trade Day? Is anyone out there planning to attend? I would love to hear about it.

Huge thanks to Danny Hales for the Disney tickets. Vince and I had a great time!!

And I ended the weekend with a great visit with a high school friend who lives in LA. She met me at the hotel Tuesday morning before I caught the shuttle to the airport.

Other places to read about ALA -

Libraries & E-Government, ALA part 5

Issues, Services & Strategies (Monday at 10:30am, ALA LRRT)
Libraries have long engaged in E-Government services — from locating government information to tax forms. Increasingly, however, libraries are on the front lines of today’s E-Government efforts. This presentation provides an overview of libraries and E-Government through national and state studies that identify the roles and issues associated with providing E-Government services in libraries.
We've applied for a grant to provide e-government training and support to our members so it seemed like an appropriate session.

John Bertot, FSU SIS - He provided an overview of e-government services, highlighting how libraries have become the provider/supporter of these services. He identified three major issues; shift of burden from agencies to libraries, strain on resources (staff, technology, and budget), and how much e-gov't to provide. He also identified opportunities; partnerships to design, implement, and create access points and as emergency services coordinators.

Mary Alice Baish of Georgetown Law School gave the policy perspective and talked about the reauthorization of the E-Government Act of 2002 this year provides an opportunity for librarians to assess its impact and measure its success.

Suzanne Sears of University of North Texas then focused on some of the practical applications and issues. She started off by asking who in the audience knew what a depository library was and explained about their collections and expertise. (Depositories in the NEFLIN region include - UF, UNF, Jacksonville University, and Jacksonville Public Library.)
  • She pointed out that e-government has created a real burden for many public libraries and that they need support from academic libraries. Which "community library" has the resources to support the community?
  • Libraries should consider this a way to get people in the door and use it as an opportunity to educate them about other library resources.
  • Library staff can NOT give advice (we don't give legal, medical or tax advice) - show them where the forms are but don't tell them which form to complete
  • Time limits create problems - provide worksheets to be done before they start on a computer
  • Email - almost all e-government services require an email address, have patrons do this before they start
  • Be clear that you can't protect their personal information. Get techies to create a script to clear info upon completion.
  • Link to multilingual sites (and make links in both languages)
The final speaker was Pat Ball of the ALA Committee on Legislation E-government Services Subcommittee. She referred folks to their wiki at

Other links and resources that came up during the Q&A session -

Library 2.0 Roundtables, ALA part 4

This was a great session but my notes are horrific. They'll be posting all the comments on the WJ wiki so watch for that. The coolest part of this session is that they actually did a virtual table for those who couldn't attend and the session was archived.

Some of the stuff I came away with -
  • check on 23 Things on a Stick out of Minnesota
  • extend 23 Things by sharing what you learn with someone else
  • Gaming concepts into other library stuff - try treasure hunts
  • check at TechSoup for discounted flickr pro accounts
  • create a youtube vide or podcast in SPANISH for things like "how to get a library card"
  • you have to have staff buy in
  • post comments on local blogs
    • great idea, did you know the library has books about that (and link back)
  • 59 second training sessions on youtube
And I followed this up with the CLENE Top 10 Tips done by Janie Hermann of Princeton Public Library at the Exhibit Hall. She had a VERY cool set of neat 2.o stuff. You can see variations on her slides at Fifteen Freebies in 50 Minutes or Cool Tools for Cool Living. And here are just some of the cool things she mentioned. If I would use some of this stuff I think it would make my life easier.
  • - a file converter
  • - photo editting
  • - pick a meeting time
  • / 1-866-jott-123 - voice to email/text message
  • or - send very large files without bogging down your server

Stretching Existing Staff, ALA part 3

New Service Delivery Models

Those of you who know me well know that I believe libraries can not continue to offer the same services in these days of shrinking budgets. So I was intrigued by this PLA session at ALA on Saturday at 10:30am
Need more staff but the budget does not allow it? The PLA Workload Measures and Staffing Patterns Committee can help you by providing existing service delivery models from libraries across the U.S. Learn about self-directed service, new space planning in view of service delivery, one point information service and many other exciting ways that libraries have confronted staffing.
A panel of four representatives from various public libraries was right on target (topic wise) with their comments - "Tasks are infinite, staff are limited."

Ruth Barefoot of San Jose Public Library started off discussing the San Jose Way. Her four key points, which are outlined in her slides, are -
  • customers first
  • teach customers
  • reinvent environments
  • enable staff (to deliver and make environments thrive)
Some other ideas for libraries to consider -
  • what back room tasks can be modified (or eliminated) to free up time for staff/patron interactions?
  • simplify policies and discard outdated procedures
    • they standardized checkout periods, fines, barcode locations
    • got their staff out of the way
    • most services are self-directed - checkout, renewals, holds
  • quit shuffling customers - everyone undergoes basic customer service training
  • hire appropriate staff and provide social behavior training for all
  • create a single service point
    • no chairs (perches), roaming staff for various 'zones' (childrens, adults, main)
Then Valerie Rowe-Jackson of Richland County Public Library (SC) talked about the Link @ Ballentine. They replaced a bookmobile with a 2,000 sq ft permanent space with a video link to a live librarian at the main library. VERY COOL!! They have 3 FT staff and are open 6 days a week. They're using self-checkout with no fines. Video conferencing is being done using a TANDBERG system. Her slides aren't up but there are a couple posts from a local blogger and Curtis Rogers.

By the time Anne Haimes from Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System got up to speak there wasn't much new for her to say. She did do a great job explaining how they merged service points at several branches. They merged the Children's and Adults services desks into an Information Desk. One of the surprising results is that it has fostered teamwork among the staff.

Then Dale McNeill from Queens Public Library got up and had about 5 minutes to speak. He didn't have slides but referenced a PLA 2008 Program, Customizing Customer Service. McNeill pointed out that what works at one place won't necessarily work at another. You need to - know your staff, know your community and what they want, and know your facilities. Some of the interesting things they've done -
  • hired a social worker to be a social worker (rather then having librarians be social workers)
    • does the job require a librarian or could someone else do it better?
  • self-checkout is checkout - they don't offer other options
    • machines do it all: fines, holds, multi-lingual
  • they are slow to implement change
    • pilot in high maintenance branches, then at several others, then it's an option for all then it goes to everyone
This was a great program that really made me think about how libraries do things. Some of us are stuck in the 'we've always done it this way' rut. If we really step out and think about why and how we do what we do, could be interesting. One of the speakers actually talked about eliminating many of the statistics they kept but actually did nothing with. What a concept!

Read the post from PLA's Blog.

Are you "Hurricane Aware"?

Many thanks to Kara McClurken, Preservation Services Librarian at Solinet, for this guest post.

Are you hurricane aware? If so, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What are the hurricane hazards?
  2. What does that mean to you?
  3. What actions should you take to be prepared?
The National Hurricane Center has put together a website to help individuals and families prepare for hurricane season. The website not only answers the questions listed above, but it also lists what you should put into a family disaster plan and provides lists for hurricane supply kits. This is a great resource to point the community to during the hurricane season.

Does your library have a section on their websites about hurricane preparedness? If so, what kinds of information do you put there? I'd love to see what library communities are doing to educate the public about hurricanes.

If you are looking for some training to prepare your institution, don't forget that SOLINET offers an online class on hurricane preparedness--the next class is offered on September 10, 17, and 24, from 2-4 pm. Check the NEFLIN workshop schedule to register.

This blog posting is the second in a series that SOLINET staff will do for NEFLIN during the hurricane season. If you have ideas/questions for future postings, please let me know.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July Online Training Opportunities

Are you looking for training on your desktop? Here's a look at some programs available in July. Don't forget to check the NEFLIN workshop schedule and remember that many of these programs will be archived and available for viewing at a later date if you miss the program.

PBwiki 100: Your Guide to Wiki Basics
for anyone using pbwiki but would be a good overview to understanding how to use a wiki
Wednesday, July 9 @ 1pm EST (repeated on Wednesdays all month)

Gale PowerSearch Product Preview
check the calendar for other Gale product previews
Friday, July 11 @ 10am EST
Friday, July 25 @ 2pm EST

A Casual Conversation with Greg Schwartz: An OPAL Program
Friday, July 11 @ 2pm EST

Video on the Web: A Primer by David Lee King: A SirsiDynix Institute
Tuesday, July 15 @ 11am

Notes from a PC Reservation System: A MaintainIT Cookbook Webinar
Tuesday, July 15 @ 2pm EST

Writing SMART Goals for Technology Planning: A TechAtlas Webinar
Wednesday, July 16 @ 1pm EST

Gale PowerSearch Product Training
check the calendar for other Gale product training
Monday, July 28 @ 1pm EST
Wednesday, July 30 @ 3pm EST
Thursday, July 31 @ 1pm EST

Managing and Motivating Your Board: A Rural In Focus Webinar
Thursday, July 31 @ 2pm EST

Let us know if you find this listing useful.

Mixing it Up: The Mashed Up Library

I was obviously not one of those folks blogging live from ALA. That's way more then I'm ready for at this point (I really don't want to lug a laptop around and I'm not willing to type on a tiny phone keypad). I do find that I take notes differently now that I know I'll be blogging upon my return - it's probably been quite good for me.

Friday at ALA. Got in, met up with Vince Mariner, formerly of SWFLN, and headed to lunch, catching up and then on to the OCLC Symposium. They were taping the session so I'm hoping it will show up sometime soon on the OCLC Video Site Map if you want to hear the full session since I found myself listening and not writing so much (and I couldn't stay until the end.)

Developing new library services can now mean mixing data and functionality from several sources into “mash-ups” to provide a unique and powerful user experience. Some librarians have discovered how to use Web applications to adapt or create new services. Others are investigating this trend and looking for further guidance. Still others have found creative ways to deliver traditional programs to new populations.

Keynote speaker, Michael Schrage, author of Shared Minds—The New Technologies of Collaboration and columnist for CIO and MIT’s Technology Review, started things off. I thought there was a lot to his comment, "The staff will change or the staff will change," especially as libraries begin to investigate Library 2.0 as a means of providing services where the patrons are. He encouraged folks to take a look at the PLA Program, "Dangerous Ideas" on Slideshare and then went on to define innovation as

  • the conversion of 'novelty' into 'value'
  • the means to an end, and
  • it isn't what innovators offer, it's what customers/clients/users adopt
The idea of innovation was quite interesting. He went on to talk about actions speak louder then words and that we should learn from our 'lead users,' seriously think about with whom we want to collaborate to create value, and establish liberatories (that a combination of library and laboratory) that attract talent and inspire hypotheses. The final thought I took from Schrage's presentation was "the more it's used, the more value it has, the better it gets."

OCLC provided a fun break of ice cream and then we switched to a panel discussion moderated by Andrew Pace, Executive Director of Networked Library Services at OCLC.

David Lee King, Digital Branch & Services Manager, Topeka & Shawnee County (KS) Public Library talked about 'thinking outside the box' and offered some neat ideas for library mash ups.
  • google maps and bookmobile stops
  • meebo and Ask-a services from your 'no results found' screens
  • youtube and claymation - workshop to video
  • ego searching (actually creating alerts) so you know what people are saying about your library and you can respond to it
I missed the final panelists (Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran, Librarian, University of Minnesota, Rochester and Susan Gibbons, Associate Dean, Public Services & Collection Development, University of Rochester (NY) River Campus Libraries) and the discussion but from talking to folks apparently the discussion was quite good. You can see some follow-up to it at -
Ended the day with the WebJunction reception. Brad seemed to enjoy himself with Danny Hales and Sheila Hiss watching me receive the Member Award. I came home with a lovely blue boa and spread feathers all throughout Anaheim.

A great start to the conference. Got my gears churning and ready to go for three more days of this...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Disney til you bust

Some of us finally made it back from ALA in Anaheim. It was a great conference, lots of good content and networking. I'll post the "fun" stuff today and tomorrow get into the real meat of it. Brad and Patty will be back in the office on Monday so I would expect they'll post next week once they've caught up.

Flying is always an adventure and this trip was no exception. I've learned the value of choosing to get the airline alerts. Right after I checked in Thursday night my plane was delayed which meant I would miss my connection in Dallas so I quickly called and rebooked to fly out early (6am) on Friday. I was lucky compared to many on my flight. Coming home I learned about the dangers of mixing pills and alcohol - someone actually had to be taken off by the paramedics when we landed at midnight in Jax. Kudos to the flight attendant for remaining calm in what seemed like a pretty frightening situation. Got home about 1:30am to be woken by my roofers at 6am as they tried to finish before the afternoon rain struck.

Anaheim seemed like Orlando in miniature without the humidity. Sunshine, palm trees and Disneyland. It was very walkable which was nice. Many thanks to Danny Hales (Suwannee River Regional Library) for the free tickets to Disney - we had a great time Monday night.

There were some really good programs. This year they really promoted going to the ALA wiki for copies of the materials that were distributed in sessions. They also had a section on the wiki for Sharing via Library 2.0 technologies, it includes links to conference twitters, flickr uploads, links to conference materials, all kinds of good stuff. I would encourage everyone to give these links a try.

It's good to be home. Thanks to Jeannie for holding down the fort while we were all gone. Tomorrow I'll get into some real content. (I really did more then just eat good food and go to Disneyland.)