Friday, May 30, 2008

Why I like My Job Today

Why? Because the sun is shining, and I get to enjoy some wildlife right outside my office window. The two ducks are not afraid and the male is staring quite intently at me as two geese decide to wander by, too.

That's why I love my office with windows!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Call for contributors

This email opportunity has been making it's way around various listss and blogs during the last several weeks. I have had opportunity to work with Carol Smallwood, submitting articles to her recent book (mentioned in the call), Thinking Outside the Book, and would recommend taking advantage of this call for contributors.

Seeking Submissions from U.S. Librarians for ALA Editions, The Published Librarian: Successful Professional and Personal Writing
(publisher, American Library Association)

Introductory Note: Bob Blanchard, Adult Services Librarian, Des Plaines Public Library. Contributor to Illinois Librarians; Thinking Outside the Book: Essays for Innovative Librarians (McFarland, 2008)

Afterword: Dr. Ann Riedling, LIS Faculty, Mansfield University. Learning to Learn: A Guide to Becoming Information Literate in the 21st Century (Neal-Schuman, 2006)

Practical, concise, how-to articles. No previously published, simultaneously submitted material, or co-authors. Two articles required: 1900-2100 words total; for example, one article could be 1000 words, the other 900 words. No underlining, bold, all caps for emphasis, please.

Editor Carol Smallwood, M.L.S., has written, co-authored, edited 19 books such as Educators as Writers for Scarecrow, Libraries Unlimited, Peter Lang, and others. Her work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, The Detroit News, Poesia, and several others including anthologies. Pudding House Publications published her chapbook, 2008; Words and Images of Belonging co-edited with Aurorean editor is with an agent; a recent book is Thinking Outside the Book, published by McFarland.

Possible topics: marketing, online publishing, where to send reviews, research skills for historical novels, using editing a library newsletter to edit books, ideas from students for YA books, using tools like BIP to locate publishers for your books, storytellers turned picture book authors, blogs and author web sites, interviewing, writing groups, networking, using a technology edge, promoting your books at conferences. Using issues librarians face such as censorship in poetry, essays, memoir, short stories, columns.

Deadline June 30, 2008

Topics may be sent first for feedback. Compensation: a complimentary copy, discount on additional copies. Please submit articles for consideration with a 65-70 word bio. Place LIBRARIANS/your name on the subject line to:

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Blog management or blog cheating?

Have you done it? Be honest; have you utilized Blogger's Post Options and either changed the date and time on a post or scheduled a post to publish at a later date?

I admit my initial reaction to this perk was negative. After all, was I not using a blog's journal format to compile and share information in a timely manner? Part of the beauty of a blog is it's instant placing of newest items first; keeping things in an honest, chronological order as opposed to an arbitrary order of importance. If I started scheduling my post publications, was it not counterproductive to the blog's over-all purpose?

The idea sat in the back of my mind, taunting me with possibilities. Next week I am on vacation. Instead of having a week without posting on the IRC blog, what if I scheduled a post or two a day this week while I have the time? Instead of seven entries on one day, the number of juvenile book categories waiting to be posted, what if I did three today, two tomorrow, and scheduled two more for Friday when I am at the CMCIG workshop.

Possibilities are inherently endless. With vacation near, I can post the IRC hours update anytime I want and schedule it to publish Monday morning. I can post reminders for the holiday weekend hours and publish when I want! I can prepare posts on anything I want, wait for someone else to post, and then schedule publishing so my posts are more recent than my blogging buddies ....

With a few planned exceptions, such as hour's updates and a few specific informational posts, I think I will stick with the traditional blogging format and feel secure that I can finesse things if needed and when appropriate.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Read the Words: audio from text

I found an interesting web site,, via the Infodoodads blog post Read the Words: Text to Speech for Everyonethis morning.

This site, currently in Beta, allows registered users to upload text from sources such as Word, PDF, HTML, and RSS feeds, select a reader (several languages are available), and it creates an audio file in MP3 format that may be downloaded to a audio player, posted online, or embedded into a blog. Naturally, this is something I had to try for myself.

The registration process was minimal (name, age, location, and email) and a valid email and password needs to be established. Creating the audio was as simple as advertised, enter your text and desired audio title, pick the reader, and create the audio. When the reading is complete it displays in a table providing a list of recorded files by name and includes informational links pertaining to audio length, download MP3, embed on website or blog, and podcast. Status will be displayed with a bright green check mark signifying it is complete and there is an option for deleting any or all of your recordings. Additionally, it appears options to categorize readings, something a librarian will enjoy, exists.

With registration complete, I chose to use the text from the EBSS's 2008 ALA Annual Program: Knowledge Wants to Be Known, Open Access for the Behavioral Sciences. I made sure to have paragraph breaks appropriately placed, as well as punctuation. Here are the results:

Overall the sound quality is not too shabby and for anyone needing to create a quick audio file for a web page, say directions in a library or audio of a course handout for the visually impaired, this is ideal. A disappointment, it is audio only; avatar's do not actually read your text when choosing the blog embed option (the voice I selected to read is pictured above). To that point I am hoping the Beta version has a few upgrades planned. The only other thing I noticed is a few oddities with Blogger when I embedded it into a post, several times IE and Mozilla crashed as I was editing the post. I finally chose to add post text and then embed the code. Hopefully this was an issue with our campus computers and not something of concern.

If I can be sure the bugs are out, I may send the audio file to the EBSS webmaster and see if it can be added to the EBSS site for program announcements at ALA Annual.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

National Library Legislative Day

Tomorrow, May 14th, is National Library Legislative Day. An email from ALA president Loriene Roy this morning focus upon things we can do. See also the ALA web site for information regarding organizing your own virtual Library Legislative Day.

We need your voice to be heard on National Library Legislative Day (May 13-14)! During this time, I will be joining hundreds of librarians and library supporters across the country visiting legislators in Washington, D.C. We need you to join the thousands of other librarians, library workers, trustees, and library users participating in "Virtual Library Legislative Day!"

Please take 10-15 minutes today or tomorrow to send a message to all of your congressional representatives, letting them know how important libraries are to society, and the need for:

  • more federal funding for libraries a certified school media specialist in
    every school
  • fair copyright laws
  • an expanded role for libraries in E-Government
  • national security letter reform

ALA's Legislative Action Center provides you with talking points on these important issues. You can use them to craft your message as you wish, and send it to all of your representatives. Thanks so much for taking a few minutes out of your day to help libraries across the nation!

Sincerely, Loriene Roy ALA President

Tags: ALA, American Library Association, National Legislative Day

Monday, May 12, 2008

Celebrate Children's Book Week, May 12- 18

This week is Children's Book Week.

Take time to celebrate by reading a book this week to a special child you know, re-read a favorite story from your childhood for your own pleasure or better yet, donate money to your local school or public library for them to buy a special children's book for their collection. Many libraries will allow you to place a memory/honor plate in the book.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Attention OhioLINK Libraries!!!

Here is info from Candi Clevenger, Chair of the OhioLINK Marketing Taskforce:

The Idea Gallery Contest is back!
It’s simple to enter, just send me your promotion and publicity materials by June 6, 2008 and you could win up to $250 worth of promotional items! The more items you submit, the more times your library will be entered to win.

Complete details follow below and at

What items are eligible for submission? Just about anything you've created to promote your library, which has not been submitted previously. This includes brochures, bookmarks, posters, blogs, Web sites, pictures of promotional items, videos, marketing/communication plans and market research instruments (including surveys, usability tests, etc.). Market research submissions should include any questions asked/instructions given, a brief description of how you did the research and the results (the raw data or a summary will do).

Visit the Idea Gallery to see what's included for more ideas. Don't be dismayed if your item does not fit in an existing category; new examples are especially welcome.

How to enter: E-mail entries to
Candi Clevenger by June 6, 2008. Most file formats are acceptable for this contest including PDF, Microsoft Office/Publisher, Adobe and graphic files (JPEG, GIF, TIFF, EPS). If you already have the item posted on your Web site, please just send the URL. Each item that is submitted will be entered in the prize drawing, however items are subject to review by the OhioLINK Marketing Task Force before being added to the Idea Gallery. Please include any helpful information about each submission, such as who created it, how it is used, and the name, title, and e-mail address of who to contact for more information.

Candi is also looking for some print promotion pieces to make over and use to illustrate design principles, so if you have a project you'd like to be considered please note that in your entry e-mail.

Drawing details: The prize drawing will be held on June 9. You'll earn one drawing entry for each item you submit to the Gallery. First prize is $250 to spend in the OhioLINK store, second prize is $150 and third prize is $100. You can even use your store credit to purchase items customized with your library's URL as part of this summer's upcoming group promotional order (order information will be distributed in June; orders will be due in early July).

Please contact me if you have any questions about the contest.

Marketing with pens

Things have started to wind down, before gearing up again for summer coursework, in many academic libraries in the next few weeks. At AU today is the last day of finals and Saturday is graduation. Local streets and campus parking lots are overflowing with parents and students struggling to fit an entire year's worth of accumulated belongings into their car(s). Yesterday my IRC student workers finished their final shifts at closing time and today was my last day with a Graduate assistant in the IRC (I sent her home early as a treat).

With the last week of classes and finals nothing but a fond memory, it is time to take stock of remaining orders to be submitted (the end of our fiscal year is near) and consumable resources necessary for running the resources. Suddenly I need more copy/printing paper, toner/color toner, pens, paper, markers, laminating film, construction paper, sentence strips, and poster board. That brings me to the smiley face mug of purple pens. It is amazing the number of students who want to "borrow" pencils and pens in a library. In the IRC we have often remarked amongst ourselves that it is no surprise Banks and other institutions chain pens to the counter!

This year I decided to purchase purple pens for the IRC that have our name, the library name, and the IRC web site imprinted in white. Alpha Promotions, Inc. is a local company that has a nice collection of pens; plus, I have worked with Lisa for ALAO (the cool blue conference program holders) and the Art of the Picture Book Conference in 2006. If students are going to take our pens, and if I am able to use the pens for targeted marketing opportunities on campus, they may as well advertise the Instructional Resource Center. Much to the delight of my senior student workers, the pens arrived prior to graduation and it did not take long before the cup on the desk needed to be filled.

It's the little things that make us happy! Smile ... and have a pen.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

EduComm 2008

EduComm Conference 2008 at InfoComm
June 18-20, 2008
Las Vegas Hilton Convention Center, Las Vegas

When it comes to ensuring that higher education institutions are taking advantage of the latest technologies to delivery instruction and manage facilities, individuals attending the EduComm Conference are ahead of the game. From smart classrooms to lecture capture systems to distance learning, EduComm at InfoComm provides administrators with the latest insights into modern technologies and their implementation within higher education.

Keynote speakers David Pogue, New York Times personal technology columnist, and Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications and chief visionary at Kayye Consulting, will entertain as they share a vision for excellence in higher education.

For more information, contact:

Kathleen Pomorski
Senior Account Executive
KEH Communications
504 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard
Suite 6
Severna Park, MD 21146

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Sara's post, Spring is in the air, along with a few days of watching students clean out dorm rooms (bring those books back to the library!), files and binders, network drives, and flash drives, compelled me to make the leap to spring cleaning my Bloglines account. I periodically weed the garden, weed library and IRC collections, and sometimes when I'm feeling adventurous I weed my IE bookmarks. But in the last year or so I have only added blogs to my reader, I have not removed ones I no longer read or have become stagnant. Viewing my plethora of updated feeds after lunch, I spent a few minutes weeding my Bloglines account.

Naturally, because I could not help myself, I put together a short list of criteria to speed things along. I did not let the number of other people subscribed to a blog sway me (no peer pressure) and nor did I consider what I should read verses what I wanted to read. I removed:
  • Blogs without posts in the last six months
  • Blogs I routinely preview but do not read
  • Blogs that no longer were of interest
  • Blogs that I felt had become tired

In about fifteen minutes - and with little remorse - I removed twenty blogs from my reader; I now have a more manageable number of resources with 58. A bit of irony, one of the first blogs I removed detailed ten tips for better blogging in the new year with the first resolution noted was to create a schedule for posting. It was the most recent post with a date of January 3, 2008.

Now I am ready to add new blogs to my feed reader!

Wondering about the srping flowers? The tulips pictured above are on the AU campus, near the library. The campus is especially colorful during the spring as we ready for graduation.