Friday, August 29, 2008

Alachua Branch Library Teen Room - The Spot

The newly expanded Alachua Branch Library of the Alachua County Library District includes a new teen room called The Spot. Branch Manager Caryl McKellar provides this guest blog and photos to share:

"The response to The Spot has been overwhelmingly positive so far. During school hours adults use it because they enjoy using the computers and sitting in the comfy booths. After school the place is jumping with teens and pre-teens who play chess/checkers, watch movies, and enjoy music and the internet on the computers. Since The Spot is glassed in the sound is contained in the area. The sound cones over the computers focus the sound from one of the computers in each booth to the people sitting underneath. Also available are teen magazines and books. "

Thanks, Caryl. When we are in Alachua we will stop by to see your beautifully renovated library.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stress Management Workshop - New Date

We have rescheduled the following class which was postponsed due to Tropical Storm Fay:

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 abut 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.

Trainer: Andrea Giggetts, Giggetts & Associates
New Date: Friday, October 3
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Bradford County Public Library, Starke

If you were registered for the original class you will be contacted about re-registering for this. If you were not registered, you can still take advantage of this valuable workshop with a great trainer. Register at,M3,09bc66da-9088-45a8-8813-401c75b79ab8

What is this Library 2.0 stuff anyway?

This post is making its way around blogland because it is such a simple explanation of this 2.0 stuff. The original post is on Indexed. When I came across it on Stephen Abram's blog his thought was to say...

"Now if the bottom axis was library cardholders and left axis was library programs/collections/services, is it easier to digest?"

Also, be on the lookout for the NEFLIN workshop schedule covering October - December. It includes a nice mix of 2.0 and other technology related workshops.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Keep Delivery Running Smoothly

The following message appeared today on the Delivery Announcements e-mail list -

As most of you know, we recently made some changes in our Delivery department, and we really need your help to keep Delivery running smoothly. Please follow the below steps to ensure that our service remains organized, efficient and accurate. And environmentally conscious!
  1. Write your full library name on the top of the statistical form. Even when you email your stats to us, it’s important to include your library’s full name.
  2. When you fax your monthly statistical forms to TBLC, please do not use a cover sheet. If your statistical form is filled out properly, a cover sheet is not necessary. Help us save some paper!
  3. Add up your totals on the statistical form. While it may only take you a few seconds to add them up, it will save us tons of time.
  4. To report a problem, including a lost or damaged book, visit Be sure to fill out all of the fields.
  5. Remember to use a barcode label with every Delivery bag. The new barcode system provides better tracking, more accurate statistics, and vendor accountability for lost or late items.
Taking these extra steps should only take you a few minutes, but it will save us an enormous amount of time, and for that, we are greatly appreciative. Thank you for your compliance and understanding!

Vikki McLean
Delivery Coordinator
(813) 622-8252 ex 226
Work Hours Mon-Thurs 8:30-4:30

Better safe than sorry

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

Hurricane warnings…better safe than sorry

I grew up in central Virginia, so most of what I knew about hurricanes came from my cousins in Charleston. But one year, we got off of school because they predicted that a hurricane was going to make it into central Virginia. We were all excited, not really understanding the devastating damage and loss that often comes with a hurricane. I remember waking up early to “see” a hurricane. But the hurricane never came—it moved further east than expected and all we received were some overcast skies and a little bit of rain. I remember thinking, “We are going to have to make up this school day in June and for what? Some gray skies???”

No matter how much experience meteorologists have and no matter the improvements in technology, sometimes the weather is not going to follow the anticipated course. As I have been watching the predictions for Tropical Storm Fay, it seems to have confounded the best meteorologists. Those of you who live in places like Florida are much more likely to be negatively affected by actual or predicted storms than those living in Central Virginia. Like the boy who cried wolf, it is easy to get tired of the school and work closings, of the anticipated storm that never comes, or comes along a different path or level of intensity than predicted. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. When we stop taking the storm or potential storm seriously, that is when it is most likely to have the most damaging effects on our lives. We cannot determine for sure where the storms will go. But we can ensure that we remain vigilant and as prepared as we possibly can be each and every time to try and mitigate the potential loss.

If you felt unprepared when Tropical Storm Fay went through, register now for "Hurricane Preparedness" a LIVE online class offered on Wednesday, September 10, 17 and 24 from 2-4pm (you must attend all three sessions).

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

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why should I learn New Stuff?

A big part of this year's NEFLIN Annual Meeting is going to be discussing the 23 Things @ NEFLIN program to be rolled out in January.

I read a really good post on this subject that I have been saving for a while called 20 Reasons why learning emerging technologies is part of every librarian's job.


Kathyrn writes on her Librarians Matter blog about this and another related post is Why should I learn about that when I'm busy with other stuff?

"Staff concerns when learning about new technologies include:
  • their service points are too busy for them to play
  • they don’t understand how they can use new technologies in their jobs now
  • they would rather just read about them
  • they just want to be told which ones are relevant and just learn about those ones.

These people are not dumb grumps, they are usually people with busy jobs honestly expressing legitimate concerns. They are telling you where the bridge needs to be built."


If you are interested in having your staff participate in the
23 Things you will want to attend the Annual Meeting to make sure that you get the most out of this program. Hearing the creator of this program, Helene Blowers speak (twice), is worth your time all by itself.

Some Monday Morning Fun

You may recognize Michael Porter (aka LibraryMan) and David Lee King names for a variety of reasons. They both have interesting blogs, co-author the PLA Magazine Internet Spotlight column, and speak at conferences all over. In preparation for a Michael's keynote at the LITA National Forum in October, they've put together a great song - hi-fi sci-fi library.

You can read the background and watch the video and get the lyrics and the credits from Michael's blog.

Caution - it will get stuck in your head ;-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay Updates

NEFLIN plans to remain open on Wednesday but will continue to monitor the situation for Thursday and Friday.

The Stress Management workshop scheduled for Friday, August 22 has been canceled and will be rescheduled. The host location, Bradford County Public Library will be closed on Thursday and Friday due to inclement weather.

The CE Committee meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 20 has been cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday, August 26.

The Statewide Ground Delivery Service (DLLI Courier) schedule is -
  • Wednesday - all hubs open
  • Tuesday - Miami/Ft Myers/Orlando/Tampa/Gainesville closed
  • Monday - Miami/Ft Myers closed
Contact Diana Sachs-Silveira (813-622-8252 x234) if you have any questions.

Do you feel like you aren't prepared for this storm? Register for the Hurricane Preparedness Live Online workshop that begins September 10.

If you need some assistance before or after the storm, please don't hesitate to call SOLINET Preservation Services at 1-800-999-8558. (added 8/19 - thanks Kara)

Please contact us post-storm to report the status of your library.

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians

"So, there I was, tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians."

Thus begins the book
Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians.

I borrowed this from my local public library last weekend and had a really great time reading the story of a 13 year old, whose "talent" (i.e., superpower) is breaking things by accident. Along with this grandfather whose talent is "showing up late" (much more useful than it sounds) have quite an adventure against the evil Librarians who are trying to rule the world.

I came across this title after reading that the author, Brandon Sanderson, is going to finish the last book in the Wheel of Time series after the passing of Robert Jordan. I am crossing my fingers that he can end the series on a high note. I agree with many fans of that series that the first 5-6 books were great, but the last 4-5 have been rough going.

Back to "battening down the hatches" here at the office. Stay dry everyone!

National Library Week Grant

Libraries of all types are invited to apply for the $3,000 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant, which will be awarded to the library with the best public awareness campaign incorporating the 2009 National Library Week theme, “Worlds connect @ your library®.”

A grant application form and guidelines are available on The Campaign for America’s Libraries Web site at

Deadline to apply is Oct. 17. National Library Week is April 12-18, 2009.

Calls for Proposals

Urban Library Journal, an open access, refereed journal of research and discussion dealing with all aspects of urban libraries and librarianship, welcomes articles dealing with academic, research, public, school, and special libraries in an urban setting. All topics are welcome, but the editors are particularly interested in innovative services to special populations, including multicultural patrons, disabled patrons, teenagers, non-traditional students, transfer students, and graduate students. ULJ is published by the Library Association of the City University of New York (LACUNY).

Manuscript length should fall between 2500 and 5000 words. Full author guidelines can be found on the ULJ website: Proposals are due by September 15, 2008. Full manuscripts are due by December 1, 2008.


The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is is accepting proposals for concurrent and Exploratorium sessions at its 14th National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference, “Rev Up Learning @ your library,” will be held November 5–8, 2009. Proposals should try to inform conference attendees of the new Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Deadlines are December 1 for the concurrent session and March 30 for the Exploratorium session. Those seeking to submit a proposal are encouraged to visit the National Conference pages at

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Webinar Just for Florida!

Are you tired of spending time figuring out how to maintain or support your public computers?

Do you wish you could ask someone how they manage public computers at their library? (For example, how do they manage printing? Reservations? Questions from laptop users? And more…)

Are you interested in sharing how your library gets things done?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in luck: the MaintainIT Project is here to help!

At the MaintainIT Project, they interview hundreds of librarians about how they maintain, support, and sustain their public computers. MaintainIT is then publishes all of these experiences, successes, and challenges in free guides called Cookbooks, so librarians can learn from the experiences of others who’ve done it before them.

The best part? Everything the MaintainIT Project does is free, and everything is on They also produce free webinars, and are inviting Floridians to a free webinar on how you can use MaintainIT resources to make a difference in your library. Please come!

DATE: Thursday, September 11th, 2008
TIME: 3:00 PM Eastern Time Zone
Register online

Lori Reed from Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (NC) will be facilitating this webinar for libraries in Florida. Please spread the word!

To participate in this webinar, you will need to be at a computer and on the phone. Connection specifics will be included in an email sent to you after you register.

Monday, August 18, 2008


We have several upcoming opportunities for NEFLIN members -
  • I'm looking for 4-5 gamers to help out in the game room at the Annual Meeting on Friday, September 12 in Jacksonville. You will need to arrive about 7:30am to help set-up the game room, assist folks as the try out a variety of games throughout the day, and then help with tear-down at the end of the day. What's in it for you? We'll comp your registration ($25) to the meeting and feed you lunch. Plus you'll get to meet other gamers in the NEFLIN region. Email to volunteer.
  • If you're interested in learning more about gaming, I encourage you to attend the Annual Meeting on Friday, September 12th. Our game room will be open most of the day and you'll have the opportunity to try out a variety of games and talk to gamers. You can also attend a concurrent session where you'll learn all about hosting a successful gaming event in your library from two very experienced NEFLIN members. Gaming events can happen in any type of library - come and learn how to draw a new crowd to your library.
  • Gamers might also take a look at the gaming wiki we've created to supplement the session at the Annual Meeting. Feel free to contribute your ideas.
  • I'm on the hunt for about 15 jigsaw puzzles. If you have puzzles that you no longer need/want, email and we'll make arrangements to get them from you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Am I a Prop Comic?

Yesterday, the NEFLIN staff fanned out all over the region. This was the first day for media specialists to return for the new school year. We were invited to give presentations about NEFLIN to the media specialists in Clay, Duval and Alachua counties.

Patty went to the Duval meeting in Jacksonville, Stephanie to the Alachua meeting in Gainesville, and I went down the road to the Clay meeting at Fleming Island High School.

When preparing for our talks I was informed by Patty and Stephanie that I would be using our tradeshow display (available for members to borrow through our
Equipment Loan Program!). They would be going with just themselves, a one-page handout, and a few toys. That's it.

I began to I the "Prop Comic" at NEFLIN? If you don't know, a prop comic is sometimes looked down upon by his colleagues. There are the comics who can just stand at the mic and make you laugh until you burst. Then come the prop comics who need props or gimmicks to get laughs.

Do I need the display to remember what services NEFLIN offers? Am I getting that old and forgetful? Thankfully I voiced my concern over this and was told we were asked to bring a display to fit in with the many poster sessions throughout the room. I must report that I went to the meeting and this was the case. The display was a hit, and NEFLIN was too.

Thank you to the folks at Clay Schools for having me. I had a great time, met some new friends, and remembered how to get back to the NEFLIN office all by myself.

Stephanie writing now....

I thought I would follow up with a little bit about my visit with the nice folks at Alachua County Schools. Every time I drive to Gainesville I'm reminded how far you all travel when you come to workshops at NEFLIN and why it is SO important for us to continue to offer training in other locations.

I had a great visit at the Sivia Center. Did my run through of all the NEFLIN services (thank you to Patty for creating the handout that keeps me from forgetting anything) -
We'll be doing many more of these sessions as our member school districts return to start the new year. If you would like a NEFLIN staff member to come talk to your staff about the services that are available and how you can best take advantage of your membership, just give us a call (904-278-5620).

From Patty:
I enjoyed speaking to about 100 Media Specialists from Duval Schools at First Coast High School in Jacksonville. Besides the services mentioned above, I also mentioned that our members consider
  • applying for the NEFLIN Continuing Education Committee - we are currently looking for new members for 2008-09 (see my blog post from August 11 for details)
  • suggesting workshop trainers and ideas - I'm always looking for new trainers and input from library staff on what topics you would like to see us offer
  • thinking about teaching a class or leading an Interest Group discussion for us. We know there's lots of talent and expertise out there, and we would love to have you share that with others
I would be happy to speak with you at any time about these.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Affordable Library Products

Affordable Library Products is both a nice phrase and the name of the newest vendor to be added to NEFLIN’s Group Discount Program.

See what discount we have arranged with ALP by checking out the complete list of participating vendors (49 of them and counting).

We are always interested in adding new vendors to save you money! Help us by sending in a Vendor Suggestion Form.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Communicating with Techies & Non-Techies

"I say tomayto, you say tomahto..."

Faithful followers of content on the MaintainIT site may have noticed a shiny new chapter now available on the Cookbooks page. It's a sneak peek at the forthcoming Cookbook - a chapter on Communicating with Techies and Non-Techies. And it's here just in time to complement the 30-minute webinar they are hosting at WebJunction.

Wednesday, August 13th at 2pm Ross Callender from the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) will be MaintainIT's special guest. He will share tips and suggestions for communication based on his experiences explaining technological topics to hundreds of librarians over his career. Connection information for the webinar is available on the WebJunction site.

Can't make it on Wednesday? This program will be archived and available for viewing at your convenience. Check out some of the previous 30-minute webinars by going to the webinar archives page.

And plan to come back on August 26th for the Cookbook Book Club when they talk about Avoiding Wireless Networking Problems (Read Chapter 2 of "Recipes for a 5-Star Library")

MaintainIT hosts several webinars each month. Check their monthly newsletter AND the web site -

Register now for the Annual Meeting

Seats are going fast and we're getting excited about the
Annual Meeting here at NEFLIN. It's four weeks away and more than half the seats are already taken. Don't miss your opportunity to learn about the five new projects we'll be rolling out for members during 2008-2009.

Friday, September 12
Embassy Suites - Jacksonville/Baymeadows

Free for Member Library Directors
$25 for all others

Register now!

Monday, August 11, 2008

NEFLIN Continuing Education Committee - call for members

Do you have ideas for training or professional development that you would like to see available to NEFLIN members? NEFLIN is looking for several creative and dependable individuals who would like to contribute to the ongoing development of its Continuing Education program by serving on the Continuing Education Committee. The CE Committee is made up of library staff from NEFLIN members from public, academic, special and school libraries.

The committee meets every other month. Your responsibility would be to attend meetings, give suggestions and input, make recommendations to and work closely with the CE Coordinator, and help promote NEFLIN's training and support services mission. This responsibility is articulated in the "CE Committee Charge" shown below. Your commitment would be for a two year term beginning October 1.

If you are interested, please send a brief statement to Patricia Morris, CE Coordinator, explaining your reasons for wanting to be on the committee. Deadline is Friday, August 22.

If you have any questions, contact Patty at or 904-278-5620.

Flagler County Seeks Millage to Preserve Libraries

On August 26, 2008, the Flagler County Library Referendum Committee will ask residents to vote on a dedicated millage of ¼ (.25) mill to fund current and future library operations. They've got a nice explanation of what this means to taxpayers on their website. Read more about it....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Helping the OPAC *Not* Suck

Karen Schneider wrote a three part series of articles for ALA in 2006 that still have people talking. The title of the series was How OPACs Suck.

Part 1: Relevance Rank (Or the Lack of It)
Part 2: The Checklist of Shame
Part 3: The Big Picture

I will now give you some time to read the series.


So now you have read these three articles and wonder why I brought them up?

I saw a demo this past January of a new product called BiblioCommons, and was very impressed. The goal of this product is to "transform online library catalogs from searchable inventory systems into engaging social discovery environments".

Take a look at this post by the Shifted Librarian. She provides some nice analysis and screen shots.

A must is to take the tour of the Oakville Library that is the first installation of BiblioCommons. You will see that their OPAC how has "ratings, tags, lists, users, comments, recommendations, faceted browsing, contextual help, natural language (not jargon), user-based age ratings, share with a friend links, similar titles, a shelf browser with cover images, and the ability to get rewards for adding content to the catalog".

Maybe this is the future of the OPAC. Maybe it isn't. But for now the question is "Does a product like BiblioCommons help the current OPAC not suck?".

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to the Next WebJunction

WebJunction has been working hard for the last year to create a new platform that includes new courses, easier contribution and new ways to connect with colleagues. This week they fully migrated the existing content, discussions and members, along with the new features, to the new platform. I encourage you to give it a look.

There's a short video on the homepage that reviews the new platform and prompts you to sign in and update your profile. This is the first step towards taking advantage of the new functionality. Some of the new features -
  • New course catalog offers hundreds of new courses from WebJunction, LE@D, and SkillSoft.
  • My WebJunction tab on the main page creates a more personalized experience. Sign in to see My WebJunction and start to collect all your bookmarks, contributions, and activities in one place.
  • More partners means more choices for subscribing to customized content from library service organizations.
  • Deeper member profile with personalized fields allows you to choose how to represent yourself to other WebJunction members. Plus, you control how much of your WebJunction profile to share.
  • Community ownership means you contribute too. The new platform makes it easy for anyone across the community to add content in all kinds of formats.
  • Friendly Terms of Use now include Creative Commons licensing and custom privacy options. When you sign in you'll be accepting their new Terms. Please take some time to review them before you get started.
I encourage you to login (it's free) and give it a whirl!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

National Voter Registration Act - Workshop Summary

Some NEFLIN members, including Paul Stella and Janet Loveless of Nassau County Public Library, recently attended a workshop on the National Voter Registration Act.

Paul shares these notes from the training as our guest blogger for those who could not attend. Thank you, Paul!

National Voter Registration Act

Trainer: Maria Isabel Matthews, Asst. General Counsel, Florida Dept. of State

Introduction: The NVRA became Public Law 103-31 on May 20, 1993. Under Section 7, the law designates voter registration agencies for registration of voters in elections for Federal office.

State and local government offices, including public libraries are designated voter registration agencies under Section 7. The following services are required of EACH agency:

Distribution of mail voter registration application forms;

  1. Assistance to applicants in completing voter registration application forms;
  2. Acceptance of completed voter registration application forms for transmittal to the appropriate State election official. The agency must forward all completed and incomplete voter registration applications within 5 days after receipt to the Supervisor of Elections of the county.

A person providing voter registration assistance may NOT:

  1. Seek to influence an applicant’s political or party registration preference;
  2. Display any political preference or party allegiance;
  3. Make any statement or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or
  4. Disclose any applicant’s voter registration information except as needed for the administration of voter registrations.

In January 2006 all individual county voter registration systems were merged into a statewide database known as the Florida Voter Registration System, or FVRS, see Any Florida resident may register in any county in the State, regardless of his or her county of residence. Address changes can also be made without re-registering to vote.

General Procedures @ the Library

What are you required to do?

  1. Each time someone applies for a library card, renews a library card or changes address, offer that customer the opportunity to apply for new voter registration in Florida or to update his or her Florida registration record. Use the mail-in application form or direct the customer to online registration at:
  2. Keep current 2008 application forms in English and Spanish. Forms can be printed from the Florida Division of Elections website (see #1 above) and photocopied as needed. The red, white and blue forms from 2006 are good through Dec. 31, 2008. Discard blank application forms dated older than 2006.
  3. Place the current copies of voter registration application forms near workstations. Do not force the customer to walk to a designated spot to find the forms.

To whom do you offer it?

  1. Customers who are U.S. citizens 18 years old or older;
  2. A “preregistrant” –anyone as young as 15 years old who is being issued or has been issued a driver’s license or learner’s permit. Parental or guardian approval/signature is not required. (Preregistrants are placed on a list until they turn 18 years old – they are not officially registered to vote). Legislative update: 2008 Legislature passed Senate Bill 866. Effective January 2009 the class of preregistrants changes to anyone between ages 16-18. The applicant may vote in any election after that person’s 18th birthday. See amendment to section #2 of 97.041, Florida Statutes

Assistance – what do you do?

  1. Be sure the person reads the instructions completely. Focus on assisting the customer to complete the required fields (in red or black); You should not determine someone’s eligibility – this is the responsibility of the Supervisor of Elections.
  2. No one can sign for an applicant, not even a parent. A person can sign with an “X” if he or she is incapable of signing due to disability.

Accepting applications – where do they go?

  1. Send all applications “as is” even if there are blanks on the application.
  2. If hand-delivered, stamp the application “Received on” and the date. Do not indicate library branch or address near the date stamp.
  3. If mailed-in, keep envelope with mailed-in application. Do not discard post-mark envelope, regardless of whether post-mark date is legible. Applications may be sent US mail to the Supervisor of Elections in your county.

2008 election dates:

Primary election – August 26, 2008;
General election – Nov. 4, 2008

Dates registration books will close:

Primary election – July 28, 2008;
General election – Oct. 6, 2008. (Registrations close by the 29th day before the election).

For further information contact:

To order stock voter’s registration applications, or alternate formats (large print, braille) contact the NVRA Administrator Suzie Still, Burea of Voter Registration Services at the Florida Division of Elections (same address and telephone), or e-mail

To download a copy of the PowerPoint presentation of this workshop, visit

Blog Post of the Month

The July Blog Post of the Month recognizes Stephanie's efforts as she diligently searches the Net to find free, online training sessions. Her posts each month on this subject bring together a wide variety of topics and training providers including;
  • Gale
  • Office Depot
  • OPAL
  • PB Wiki
  • SirsiDynix
  • WebJunction
  • and many more.
-- Brad


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

July's Online Training Opportunities

-- Stephanie

Cool Programs at Member Libraries

As always, the primary goals of the Florida Library Youth Program (FLYP) are to make children life-long readers and public library users. This summer's reading program, “Whole Wide World at My Public Library,”was broken up into seven week-long sections, for which one continent was assigned –Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Antarctica. The staff at Alachua County Library District's Newberry Branch came up with the idea of issuing a ’passport’ to travel the world for the children who signed up for the program. It also came with a ‘kit’ that included a toy compass, bookmarks, a telescope or binoculars, a foam airplane, the FLYP newsletter, a flyer containing information about all our other summer programs for the family and coupons from local vendors – such as Cold Stone Creamery and Taco Bell.

In addition to other cool things, the staff at Newberry took an idea straight from the FLYP Craft Manual and built an igloo. Librarian 1, Lesly Galiana, and a few children volunteers began building it in early June, but it was the hard work and innovation of two stupendous volunteers, that accomplished the feat of engineering. See all the pictures...

St. Johns County Public Library System is partnering with the Early Learning Coalition of Putnam and St. Johns Counties, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, St. Johns County Education Foundation and other community organizations to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to St. Johns County! All children born after April 30, 2008 and residing in St. Johns county are eligible to receive FREE hardcover books each month until they reach age five! Parents can visit any branch of the library system to register their child or download registration form. More information.


Alachua County Library District's Tower Road Branch Library is working with Books for Soldiers to send care packages to troops serving overseas.


What does your town look like?
Michelle Kiley, Youth Resources Librarian at the St. Johns County Public Library Hastings Branch Library was looking for a project that would interest local youth. Disposable cameras were purchased by the Friends of Hastings Branch Library and given to any interested young photographer. Check out the results of Picture Hastings on flickr.


And from the FLA Media Clip Blog, Sol Hirsch posted about a UF Journalism project to create a documentary that highlights the importance of the public library to the rural community of Archer. It could be used as an advocacy tool to support funding for rural libraries and to highlight the importance of e-government services.

Would you like to see your library's program highlighted here?
Simply send an email to

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Just for Copy Cats

What is copy cataloging? This workshop provides an introduction to finding cataloging records that you can copy, explaining some of the more obvious challenges and some neglected database issues, with a brief look at essential editing. Although not a substitute for the 4 day Book Blitz, this workshop will get you started in the basic principles of copy cataloging. Topics covered:
  • How to read a MARC record for searching, matching and editing
  • Search terms and their sources
  • Matching books and records
  • Special matching problems - Dates
  • Special matching problems - CIP
  • How to recognize what is wrong with a record, so that you can either fix it or report it to someone who can
Attendees should bring a printout of a MARC record from their local automated system.

Recommended prerequisite: MARC 21 in Your Library

Trainer: Karen Anspach, The MARC of Quality
Date: Monday - Tuesday, September 22-23
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: NEFLIN Headquarters, 2233 Park Avenue, Suite 402, Orange Park, FL

NEFLIN Enhanced Members: FREE
NEFLIN Full Members: $80
Non-members: $200
Students: $50

For full description or to register for Just for Copy Cats click here

Only Protect the Ones You Want!

Many thanks to Bonnie Tollefson, Director of the Levy County Public Library System for this post. Bonnie is the second of our member libraries to take me up on the offer to post information about their library here on the Blah Blah Blah Blog.

The other day I visited the dentist. (keep reading it gets better) I am not a conscientious flosser so I expected to be yelled at. When I mentioned my expectations to the dental hygienist, she looked at me and quietly said “Only floss the ones you want to keep.

Bang! Right between the eyes!

I’ve been thinking about that philosophy and trying it out on other aspects of my life. Only buy the food you want to eat. Only bank the money you want to save. Only watch the TV you really care about. Somehow none of them work quite as well or have the same punch.

Then, the Levy County Public Library System Headquarters’ power pole got hit by lightning. It caused a “loose neutral.” As I understand it, when the wire was in the right place everything was fine. When it was in the wrong place, WAY too much power came over the line. We had to pull the main switch on the building for 2 days until Progress Energy could repair the pole.

It took weeks to identify everything we lost but some things were evident immediately. The microwave died, as did the transformers for two phones, the alarm system and the speakers on my computer. We lost 5 surge protectors, and 3 UPS units. Every light bulb in the building had to be replaced as did one light fixture. After a few weeks of struggling, the switch for our computer network gave up the ghost as well.

Did you notice one thing that was not on that list? We did not lose a single computer. The surge protectors and UPS units did their job and the little varistors gave their lives for the computers they had sworn to protect.

So here are my words of wisdom in terms that my dental hygienist would understand and respect. “Only protect the computers you can’t afford to replace."

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

Monday, August 4, 2008

Congratulations Leadership Institute Grads!

Friday, August 1 the thirty-nine graduates of the 2007-2008 Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute gathered in Tallahassee for their final session. The day began with tours of the State Library, State Archives and time for small group conversations with the State Librarian, Judi Ring. The group then participated in table talks with Office of Community Development staff on topics such as Youth Services, Records Management, E-Rate, Grants, Florida Electronic Library, Library Development and Planning, Evaluation and Statistics.

Over 60 mentors, friends and family attended the afternoon celebration of their accomplishments which included a welcome by Judi Ring, comments by Secretary of State Kurt Browning, and a short address by Pat Wagner. The graduates did group presentations on their 3R's - the Relationships, Resources and Re-energizing that were an outcome of the Institute and then received certificates and gifts acknowledging the effort they had put forth during the year.

Congrats to the staff from NEFLIN libraries who completed this year's program. Pictured above are Debbie O'Donnell, Alachua County Library District, Stella Brown, Putnam County Library System, Patty Morris, NEFLIN, Laura Minor, Jacksonville Public Library, Susan Reynolds, Marion County Public Library, Robert Perone, Bradford County Public Library, and Nicole Jebbia, St. Johns County Public Library. Not pictured, Diane St. John, Columbia County Public Library.

Extra congrats to Nicole and Laura who each one a free membership in the Florida Library Association for 2009. Many thanks to FLA for this generous contribution.

Friday, August 1, 2008

One of my Favorite Days of the Year

Here's the thing.

I'm sitting at my desk and a package arrives. I see it is from Santa Fe Community College's Lawrence W. Tyree Library. I open it with breathless anticipation. YES! It's the calendar. Christmas in July! I hoot with joy and the rest of the staff join me to pore over it.

Each year the staff at the Santa Fe Community College Library takes a good deal of time and effort to put out a great Library Calendar. I received permission from SFCC to scan the calendar and make it available on
NEFLIN's Flickr Page. I really couldn't have described it without some accompanying visuals. Hats off to everyone involved for doing such a great job.

Questions about the calendar can be directed to SFCC Library Director, Myra Sterrett.