May 2008
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Month May 2008

chained toy

Found in the children’s section of the Bibliotheek Den Hague. I couldn’t believe it.

Much more to come!

library pictures from barcelona

This morning I had the honor of giving the opening speech at the 11th Jornades Catalanes d’Informació i Documentació in Barcelona. It was my first talk with an interpreter and I entered the room in procession with the Catalonian Minister of Culture. Wow. To be honest, all of that made me a bit nervous! It went really well though and it was very comforting to realize that librarians here are dealing with the same things we are in the US.

I’ve been seeing quite a bit of the city the past few days, and I’ve uploaded a few library related pictures to Flickr: an old handwritten catalog card, the reading room in the Biblioteca de Catalunya, a bookstore called Happy Books, and some dusty bottles at one of Hemingway’s favorite place to drink absinthe. Best of all is a book exchange they’ve set up in the Metro.

I’ve seen all the touristy stuff I want to see and I haven’t quite mastered sitting around like the Barcelonistes so tomorrow I’m going to tour a few public libraries.

One last thing. The librarians at this conference, no lie, are the most fashionable people I’ve seen in Barcelona so far. Ciao for now.

brainfood at your fingertips

What’s the best way to come up with a name for something on your website that you’re not sure what to call? Ask the website’s users. The WCCLS did just that regarding the its subscription databases/other electronic content after first labeling them “Periodicals.”

The responders chose the term “Online Resources” as their first choice at almost twice the rate
of their second choice “Research Databases.” It hasn’t changed yet, but I’m guessing that WCCLS will respond to this choice.

Trying to come up with the right terminology for a library website isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be all guess work either. Asking even just a few people about a term is better than asking no one. This applies not only to labels on our websites, but also what to call our services. For more on usable library terms, see Library Terms That Users Understand.

Now for the fun stuff. One of the best parts about the report about the WCCLS’ study was an addendum titled “A Casual List Of The Most Creative Names Suggested.” These patron generated terms are presented here for your enjoyment:

  • All-encompassing Awesome Information
  • Brainfood at Your Fingertips
  • Cornucopia of Information – You need it, we got it!
  • Dewey’s Concoction
  • Everything But the Kitchen Sink
  • Everything You Need to Know About Anything
  • it is what it is
  • Just about everything else category
  • Lots ‘a good stuff
  • MOC (Misc. online crap)
  • Reference Rainbow
  • Regular Publications of Just About Everything Useful
  • Some of Everything
  • Stuff you need to know
  • The best info spot around
  • TMI – Too Much Info

walking paper scraps

→ First there was the Aargh Page, a cool infographic of the word’s spelling. Now we have even better graphs for Oh Shiit and Daamn.

citation needed shirt

earbud JACK keeps your headphones untangled

not a box

Ok, so the *last* thing I ever expected to blog about is a children’s book but I came across one in the library yesterday that I liked so much I want more people to know about it. It is titled Not a Box and is about a little rabbit with an active imagination. The story is nice, but I was immediately taken with the design of the book.

Each two page spread consists of a short sentence set in a simple sans typeface accompanied by a minimal line drawing. The way the author uses space really complements the message of letting one’s imagination wander just like the book’s brown paper bag dust jacket is reminiscent of the book’s box.

The book was a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner for 2007 and ALA Notable Children’s Books Winner. Antoinette Portis also wrote Not a Stick which I’m going to put on reserve.