Monday, January 14, 2008

What's In?

I was reading the latest issue of University Business over the weekend and in the editor's column was a discussion of what's in in technology and what's out. Included in a chart of technology trends was that Library Stacks were out and "collaboratories, e-Journals, Wikipedia and Google" were now in. At least he didn't include librarians as being out! The term "collaboratories" was an interesting one; I had not heard it before. But, as libraries continue to develop and evolve with more electronic functions, I can see where that term would be appropriate. Many libraries are now cooperatively offering joint facilities with IT folks, where students have access to multimedia production hardware and software to work on course assignments. The assignments themselves are becoming more complex in nature, requiring increased knowledge of computers and various kinds of software. I think that in that respect, the library is a great place to think of going.

But including Wikipedia and Google (internet sources) and not library resources is disturbing to me as a director. It is a shame that "library stacks" are what the library is considered to be about and not the many other excellent (and credible!) resources that we do offer. And while Wikipedia and Google are there (whether librarians like it or not), they still must be treated with care and crictial evaluation. It's too bad that critical thinking and information literacy are not considered an "in" trend.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

To Resolve or Not To Resolve

2008 has finally arrived and with it many resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, get financially sound, get organized, etc. So many to choose from and often difficult to stick with them once made.

What resolutions do libraries make when a new year arrives? Since my library works with an academic calendar, my year is already half over, so to speak. I needed to be thinking about them back in July. Not exactly my priority at that point. Vacation, Autumn quarter, staying up with the many changes in catalogs and databases, and updating instruction materials tend to consume my time and thoughts.

But it is good for directors, along with staff, to look for ways to improve services, facilities and programming all the time. The many Library 2.0 tools will help libraries implement some new features. I, for one, have delved into creating subject bookmarks in and will soon post it to my library website. For me (being such a low-tech person), that is a big deal to learn how to do this. RSS feeds and IM are two other tools I am looking at.

I already started my new year off right by hiring an additional staff person, which is exciting because my library has only had two full-time staff members since it opened in 1968. Also, I ordered new casual furniture for my library, which arrived over the holidays, and now hope the students will notice it with an open house I have scheduled in January. I often try small things to add to or improve our library in some way and make it more attractive to the students.

Our library consortium, OhioLINK, is celebrating its' 15th anniversary this year. Member libraries are encouraged to host events, activities and generally publicize this momentous occasion. So I am going to show off OhioLINK with its many great resources at the open house, too. Providing cake and drinks will probably not hurt, either.

So my resolution right now? Get going and get the publicity out about my open house, the OhioLINK celebration and our new subject links page.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wading through email

For those of you suffering the same affliction as I, almost drowning in the sea of email that arrived during the holiday break, you may have missed notification that the December 2007 ALAO (vol. 25, no. 4) newsletter is now available on the ALAO website.

Included is information about the 2007 Annual Conference, ALAO membership news, and people/library news. Additionally, the dates to remember section features links to grant applications for ALAO's Continuing Education Grant, deadline January 15, 2008, and Research Grant , deadline May 18, 2008.

The ALAO newsletter is a great way to keep up to date with academic library happenings in Ohio.

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