July 2004
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jun   Aug »

Month July 2004

quote of the week

I think I may have succeeded in making publishing to the web very transparent for the YA librarian at my library. During our usual Fun Lunch on Wednesday she was having a conversation in which I was not participating when I heard her say, “I don’t even know what a blog is!” I smiled at her and told her that knows more than she thinks, because she blogs every time she puts something up on the web.

In wireless news, a man approached the circ desk with his laptop today, inquiring about our wireless procedures. I happened to be up there at the time, so I explained that if he turned his machine on, he would likely be connected. He was happy and told me of another library that had a 10 minute [his figure, not mine] procedure for getting wireless users online. Evidently the man is on a road trip and using publibs as much as possible for wireless. Also, Panera. I asked if he has been using wififreespot.com to find places and he has indeed. That’s how he found us.

more figures

I like posting the statistics we have on the forward thinking stuff we’re doing. My hope is that our successes illustrates the legitimacy of this type of stuff in libraries.

We’ve been circulating our MP3 players since February. They have gone out a total of 24 times, with a total of 76 books.

I am happy with these figures.

guerilla circulation

Yesterday a patron called looking for Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich. She was in the process of listening to the book with our book on tape when the last tape decided to fail. When she called she was in the car en route eventually to the library. I told her to see me when she arrived and that I would place a hold on the title for her, or tell her where she could go to get the item herself.

After we disconnected I had the idea to check Listen Illinois, the books on MP3 program in which we’re participating. Lo and behold, the title in need was available, as was an MP3 player. I created a book basket for the patron, downloaded the title and put it onto the player. When she arrived she immediatly inquired if I was able to find the book nearby. She was anxious to complete the story. I responded that I was able to do better than that, told her that I had it on an MP3 player for her, and explained about the program.

“Boy, will my son be proud of me,” she exclaimed. She also commented that she enjoyed the small size of the Audible Otis player.

I was pleased with the whole exchange and I’m going to make it a point to find more of these “introductory moments”* where I haven’t really looked before.

*This concept is essentially like the concept of the teachable moment except nothing really is taught. In place, services or technologies (in this case library related) are introduced.

think alike

Michael beat me to it, but I still may use this screenshot of us planning via iChat in one of our upcoming presentations at Internet Librarian.

screen shot of us chatting
click for big and see the details of our presentation about IM


This morning at about 5:30 my dog woke me up with his loud snoring. As I picked him up to flip him over, the strangest thought popped into my head. I thought about the future’s Google which had diversified and was then in the business of ‘scanning brain dumps’ of pets. Granted I was bleary-eyed, but I think by that I envisioned some type of “Total Recall” scenario in which the contents of a brain could be downloaded and then indexed with the Google algorithm.

The problem with this, of course, is that brains don’t use hyperlinks to make connections so Google is going to have to get working on a new algorithm. Imagine if something similar to Google’s Page Rank popularity contest was applied to the human brain. Would that serve to conjure only happy thoughts we wanted to think and to push unpopular thoughts into greater obscurity?

I’m glad I get to use Google to search the web, but I think I’m also glad that I don’t have to search my library catalog with anything like it. Would ranking matched words for a keyword search by number of circulations be an effective means of searching a collection? It might make librarians and users more prone to settle for inferior results. It also might render otherwise useful good books worthless because it would be difficult for some titles to ever be seen. Maybe they would have high circs for good reasons and it would be effective.


also sprach imwatching.net

The guy that started IMWatching.net saw my post about his site and sent me an email. He is a student at MIT and IMWatching is a school project. There is a bit more on the site now, including these statements regarding privacy in the FAQ.

I inquired about the response he has seen, and he reported that about 1000 people are watching nearly 6000 buddies through IMWatching.

What’s more, his mother is the director of a middle school media center, so he enjoyed reading about his creation in the context of libraries.


Happy Monday all.

Gina, Network Consultant for the Idaho State Library emailed me asking about the RIAA CD Swap for Libraries wiki I set up, first posted about here. To my dismay there wasn’t much interest in it until now.

Idaho has just recieved their CDs and there are some duplicates. If anyone else has some CDs to trade or knows of someone, please visit the site and see if and needs can be met.