Friday, December 11, 2009

Kirkus Reviews & Another Who's Who

From my email inbox this morning, the end of a journal ...

"As part of the sale of its business to business publications, Nielsen Business Media has announced that it is closing its book review publication Kirkus Reviews as well as Editor & Publisher." - Library Journal, 12/10/09

... and a new Who's Who directory non-affiliation notification from Emerald Group Publishing.
"Please be aware that a company called Emerald Who's Who is contacting management professionals and academics around the world asking them to become a member of their Who's Who directory (Emerald Who's Who for Executives and Professionals). Emerald Group Publishing Limited is in no way affiliated with this company and does not endorse it in any way." - Mark Hindwell, External Relations, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 12/11/09

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

NCES Releases "Academic Libraries: 2008 First Look"

From the IES newsflash this morning, Academic Libraries: 2008 First Look

Academic libraries held approximately 102.5 million e-books and about 3.6 million electronic reference sources at the end of fiscal year 2008. The National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences has released the report "Academic Libraries: 2008 First Look." This report summarizes services, staff, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries in two- and four-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Findings include:

  • During FY 2008, there were about 138.1 million circulation transactions from academic libraries' general collection.
  • Academic libraries reported 93,438 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff working during the fall of 2008.
  • Academic libraries spent about $6.8 billion during FY 2008.

Monday, December 07, 2009

'Tis the season

Classes ended last Friday and accompanying the brisk pace of students finishing their independent lab by the prescribed 5:00 pm deadline, considerable time was spent simply putting "one foot in front of the other." Questions were answered, crowds were handled, and the pressure of completion was felt by one and all. It often feels things ends abruptly, even after six weeks of reminders and a large countdown sign on the IRC door.

Last week a young woman stopped in the IRC and took a few minutes to tell me how patient everyone was with her throughout the term and how much she appreciated the time taken to answer all her questions.  She gave me a thank-you card containing a gift certificate for a local pizza shop. It was a thoughtful gift that I passed along to my students this morning; each of them now has a pizza break financed during finals.

It was a very nice moment during a week filled with deadlines and revisions.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unshelved: Pimp My Bookcart

Take a few minutes and check out the winners in Unshelved's 2009 Pimp My Bookcart contest.

"This year's contest had amazing entries that fell into a few familiar categories (vehicles, Dr. Seuss, pirates, Halloween, animals), one that straddled two categories (a Catbus), and a few that we don't remember seeing before (Alice in Wonderland, a GIANT book cart, a camera). Gene was delighted to see so many carts with an environmentally conscious theme (like our new shirt) and others that used recycled materials. Entries came from as far away as South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.K." Unshelved Pimp My Bookcart

The Shep Herding Books by Lexington Public Library is particularly creative and amazing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another new word: Tweckle

Hot on the heels of "unfriending" I read about "tweckling" from the Chronicle's technology article; Conference Humiliation: They're Tweeting Behind Your Back, by Marc Parry.

Tweckle (twek'ul) vt. to abuse a speaker only to Twitter followers in the audience while he/she is speaking.

Conference speakers beware: Twecklers are watching.
They're out for blood.
And you may be their next victim.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Unfriend? A sign of the times

The New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year for 2009 has been announced:  unfriend

Without further ado, the 2009 Word of the Year is: unfriend.

unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook. As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.” -- OUP Blog

Sounds kind of harsh, doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An Ill-wind is blowing

Are you tired of hearing about H1N1 like me? Are you sick of washing your hands constantly? Do you cringe everytime you hear someone cough near you?

Health and safety issues are real concerns for library administrators and campus personnel and have become even more real as more and more young people fall victim to swine flu symptoms. Student staff are unable to work (and we don't want them here!).

Our campus is trying to respond to all the potential problems by cleaning more thoroughly, installing hand sanitizer dispensers in buildings across campus, putting wipes in campus vehicles and encouraging faculty to be "flexible" with assignments.

I have put out bottles of sanitizer for our patrons to use and we wipe down the computers each night. My staff has sanitizer available to them and I try not to steal my staff's pens and pencils to use. We no longer supply headphones for our computer media; everyone must bring their own.

Kleenex will be out soon. Please, keep the Kleenex, don't ask to "borrow" any! I don't want them back!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From my bloglines account

I admit it, I browse my Bloglines account faithfully but do not read every feed every day. As with a newspaper, I check the headlines and delve deeper when something in particular catches my interest. These two items caught my attention as they portrayed interesting views regarding the social norm for libraries and higher education:

The F-Word, by Laurie Fendrich
Brainstorm, The Chronicle of Higher Education

"I came of age when the “f-word” first started entering ordinary conversation among educated people. Although The New York Times still won’t print it, The New Yorker will." ... read the article

Heather Has Two Mommies Turns 20, Leslea Newman
Soapbox, The More Things Change, Publisher's Weekly

"Two decades have come and gone since Heather, the little girl with two arms, two legs, two hands, two feet and two mommies popped out of my pen. And I am proud as any parent can be." ... read the article

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Now that's customer service!

The library is currently weathering an unexpected adjustment to our proxy server. An innocent bystander, our collection of LibGuides chock full of links to database resources, electronic books, and articles using the proxy URL for authentication. Each of the estimated 1000+ links now rendered useless by the change. But this is a post with a happy ending.

One of our IT people suggested we contact LibGuides and ask if they could query our full content, remove the incorrect proxy string, and replace it with the new. We were secretly doubtful, but all things considered nothing ventured, nothing gained. Sara, fellow blogger and our liaison with LibGuides, contacted them with the request Wednesday evening. Almost immediately, their response was yes! This morning they completed the task and our guides are once again the shining star of our library resource page.

The Springshare About Us page states: "Our goal is to have each and every client say 'this is a great company to work with!'" In my humble opinion, you have more than met your goal.

Springshare is a great company to work with!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ALAO Conference

Fresh from the ALAO list serv & ALAO President Rob Withers:

Early bird registration is over, but it’s not too late to register for ALAO's 35th Annual Conference, "At the Crossroads: Recharging, Redefining, and Realigning Our Libraries," in Wilmington, OH! This year, ALAO is experimenting with online submission of registration information (payment by check will continue to be submitted by snail-mail).

Please register online by Friday, October 16, and make sure that registration checks are postmarked by that date as well.

Registration will not be complete until your check has been received. All registered on-site attendees will receive our new keepsake – the ALAO USB hub!

Rates are:

  • Registration fee (after 10/3/09) - $100.00 (USD)
  • Student conference registration fee - $30.00 (USD)

Deadline for registration and refunds: Friday, October 16, 2009. For instructions and a link to the online submission form, visit the conference web site.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Zero to Sixty

Yesterday Sara and I put finishing touches a "summer" project, a new LibGuide for the Dwight Schar College of Education Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies. We started by evaluating our existing online resource and determined the information and users would be better served in the AU LibGuide environment. A quick needs assessment, in the form of three simple and individualized SurveyMonkey surveys, was sent to doctoral faculty, current doctoral cohorts, and recent program graduates. We worked to facilitate their requests and provide quality library information resources:
Tags and a unique URL were created, the guide quickly and effortlessly associated with education resources category, a bit of finessing done with the title (we still are not thrilled), and without more ado, the guide was ready: Ed.D. Research: Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies. A soft roll-out began with an email to the doctoral faculty, soliciting feedback so we can make changes to suit their needs. Currently under a web content freeze, the University will be unveiling a new web site soon; links from the library web site are on hold. However, we plan to email guide links to survey participants and post an announcement on the Library News Blog and IRC Blog. After publication, I verified our link from the library's LibGuide home and noted guide numbers; we are starting our second academic year with LibGuides and have gone from zero to sixty during that time.

Then, because the sheer joy of publishing the finished product made me a bit giddy, all I could think of was Alabama's song, "I'm In a Hurry" ... "I don't know why I drive so fast, my car has nothing to prove, it's not new, but it'll do zero to sixty in 5.2." It has been stuck in my head for two days now, so for my viewing pleasure, and maybe yours as well (after the requisite advertisement).

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

ALAO Conference Registration

Registration is open for the 35th Annual ALAO Conference! Early bird registration is available through October 3rd and offers a $15 break on conference fees; student conference registration is also available. This year ALAO is offering a variety of programs, posters, and several technology spotlights for attendees.

For more information, visit the conference web site. A few conference quick links are noted below:

Thanks to fellow blogger Betsy, I remembered to take advantage of the early bird option - and- have a hotel room reserved. If the block of ALAO rooms sell out, be sure to take advantage of online reservation options with Expedia and Travelocity. As of last week, both had openings for the Roberts Center Holiday Inn at comparable prices.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's the most wonderful time ...

Many students are already back on campus and official move-in begins this weekend. The start of another school year is only a few days away. I am a bit farther behind than planned, student work schedules are still under construction, and my current focus is feasibility and budgetary allotments for much needed refurbished computers on the second floor and in the IRC.

Last evening I saw one of the all-time great back to school commercials and had to share. The YouTube Staples Channel says it is "back after fifteen years," those sad-eyed children are now college graduates!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Wasting Time for a Good Cause

Ever have just a few minutes that you need to fill and don't want to start a new project?

I found a cool website that allows me to improve myself AND contribute to a good cause, even if I have only a few minutes. is a nifty little site where I can improve my math, English vocabulary and grammar, my favorite foreign language and a few other subject areas. For every answer you get correct, you donate 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Programme.

It adds up, believe me! And you can switch subjects when you are tired of doing math multiplication - just jump over to geography or art.

I can tell you - some subjects I fail miserably and others I do brillantly! But for every answer I get correct, the rice grains add up!

Check it out - it's now my favorite way to end a day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Collingswood Library Promo

What fun! Posted on Library Garden yesterday, this video is a clever marketing tool for Collingswood Library.

This video does twice the work for me; I am able to pass along one more posting of the fundraising idea here and at the same time illustrate to any students in my technology class (who are conveniently preparing a video assignment due later this week) that may be reading this blog (they share their blogs and I share mine) an example of how video may be used for purposes outside of the classroom.

Monday, July 13, 2009

OLSSI: Final Call!

In the time OLSSI has been around, the economy has never been worse, and funds for libraries has probably never been so tight. While it’s not uncommon for a professional conference to end up costing $1500 or $2000 with hotel rooms, meals, etc., we still think our conference/retreat is bargain at $225.00.

Here is short list of four additions to the 2009 Ohio Library Support Staff Institute:
  1. We are proud to announce that our keynote speaker will be Jason Thomas, Sergeant USMC, retired. This brief note cannot do the man justice. Mr. Thomas received a number of awards for his search and rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He would become a subject of the Oliver Stone film, World Trade Center, and he and his family would appear on a special two-hour episode of the television show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” For more information, please visit:
  2. Another addition to OLSSI’s Sunday night festivities will be James A. Willis, author of the book Weird Ohio. Mr. Willis will give a presentation of the equipment he uses with his paranormal research and investigation team, the Ghosts of Ohio. He’ll then take all interested outside for ghost tour of the Denison campus! From their site
  3. Also opening night, the OLSSI Super Spectacular Costume Contest! With the “Meet & Greet” reception at 5:00 PM, and dinner and opening ceremonies at 6:00 PM, there’ll be plenty of time to show your Super-Self! So come dressed as your favorite superhero, villain, or one of your own making! The winner will get the Superhero Prize Pack, which includes: The Pulitzer Prize winning book – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon, all four Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve on DVD, a Spider-Man fleece blanket, and the Marvel Comic Book Library – 100 digital comic books on CD-ROM, all in a star-spangled Captain America tub! So, Mask Up! For photos, go to:
  4. And finally, while we’ll be handing out giveaways Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, nothing beats a Grand Prize! After our final presentation on Tuesday, we’ll be giving away a weekend getaway to The Inn & Spa at Honey Run!

Your two-night stay in the Main Lodge can actually be any time of the week you choose! The Inn at HoneyRun is nestled on 70 acres in the heart of the Ohio Amish Country in Holmes County, between Millersburg and Berlin, Ohio. For photos and more information, go to:

Registration closes Wednesday, July 15th. You can contact Secretary/Treasurer Tanya Ellenburg-Kimmet for your all your registration needs:

Fax: 937-775-2356
Email: tanya.kimmet at

OR -- U.S. Mail:
Tanya Kimmet, OLSSI Secretary/Treasurer
Digital Services
Wright State University
3640 Col Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH

Email/Fax the registration form even if payment will be delayed past July 15th so we can reserve a spot for you! For classes, instructors, FAQ, and more, go to:

Posted on behalf of Michael Bradshaw, Chairperson OLSSI

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Losing Your Right Hand

What does it feel like to lose your right hand? I mean, my right hand at work. My assistant has been on medical leave since May 18 and that doesn't sound like a big deal. Except that I only have two employees besides me and about 5 student assistants.

I have been relearning how to do things I gratefully forgot, like how to add new patrons, how to fix circulation issues, remembering to put equipment in places and deliver films, checking on a multitude of little details that always needs to be checked before a new quarter starts, employee timesheets, reconciling a money drawer, etc. The list goes on.

That's in addition to my own usual duties and projects, like budgets, periodical renewals, collection development, new course management materials, etc. It takes one little situation to make you appreciate when you have a well-oiled machine running. When a part is gone, the whole thing just seems to fall apart. For us, running smoothly and collaboratively has been the key to our success with such a small staff.

Actually, I am proud of myself - no major crises, no major snafus. I have learned that I hate to reconcile a money drawer and deadlines always exist.

But I got to go back to my roots, so to speak, and do some cataloging functions, which I always enjoyed and clean out some clutter.

Luckily, it sounds as though there is daylight showing. My assistant might get to return part-time soon. And that will be a day for celebration. Hallelujah!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The dog ate my homework

One of the more interesting posts in my bloglines account this morning was from Wired Campus: 'The Computer Ate My Homework': How to Detect Fake Techno-Excuses. It's a report on a new web site,, that will (for a price) create a corrupted file for students to submit to instructors. Instead of missing a deadline or imagining an excuse, this web site enables purchasers to turn in that assignment in a completely unreadable format.

Q: Is this cheating?

A: It's a fine line… It's basically just a good excuse vs. outright cheating but even though you are handing in your own work, you are getting an unfair advantage so by that definition, yes you are cheating. Please ask your professors for an extension before you use a corrupted file. This is meant to be used as a last resort, a one time thing, not a crutch! Everyone is entitled to a second chance, but not a third. -
Corrupted, FAQ's Page

Putting aside for a minute the interesting ethics of the FAQ's page and tentative contact information site disclaimer, the Wired Campus post and it's subsequent comments make good points regarding plagiarism and cheating. I particularly enjoyed the comment from a user who puts this statement in his/her syllabus: "Any corrupted files are YOUR responsibility. Check your outbox after you send the file, open the attachment. Any files I cannot open will receive a zero." Plain, simple, to the point.

The site offers a wide variety of customized corrupted files (the list is rather extensive) with a 12 hours turn-around and 100% satisfaction guaranteed; if you have that much time, just finish the assignment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CMCIG Workshop: Presentation links

The spring CMCIG workshop featured two presentations prepared and delivered using the popular LibGuides "knowledge sharing system;" Bowling Green State University and Ashland University. By popular demand, and as promised, this post highlights links to both presentations.

Time for questions was brief; please feel free to contact presenters individually for more information or to further discuss their topic.

Kathy Yoder, BGSU
New Books in the CMC
Realigning the CMC with New Titles
and New Presentation of the Collection

Dr. Deanna Romano, Ashland University
Diane Schrecker, Ashland University
Realigning Teacher Education:
Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Meet 21st Century Skills

This information was originally posted on the
CMCIG blog: Workshop Presentation Links.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CMCIG Workshop: Ready to go

I know, the business card looks suspiciously familiar. This is not another post about an AU LibGuides presentation, though in a way it could be. Finishing touches on Friday's CMCIG Spring Workshop presentation Realigning Teacher Education were made yesterday. As with the ACRL poster session, some kind of token handout with our presentation URL and contact information is necessary. I have IRC pens for each attendee, so creating a card and attaching it to the pen seemed a quick and easy solution.

Why does it look like a LibGuide? After Deanna mentioned her strong aversion to PowerPoint, the presentation tool we selected was ... LibGuides. As co-editors we were able to work independently and collaboratively, thus using a web 2.0 tool, to discuss web 2.0 technologies. The presentation is a timely addition to our growing LibGuides arsenal and includes education, library, and technology resources for interested patrons.

For the first time I incorporated an RSS feed into a LibGuide, though I am a bit frustrated by only being able to use one proxy address. I wanted to create an Ebsco database alert about RSS feeds to demonstrate how users can keep track of desired search strategies and to present articles about using RSS feeds in education. The feed was easy to create and adding the AU proxy for off-campus database access took only a click of the mouse; not being able to use an OhioLINK proxy (allowing OhioLINK members to view the feed) was problematic. I had to settle for advising attendees the alerts would not work off-campus for non-AU users. All of the additional resources will be accessible with OhioLINK authentication.

I'm always learning something new when creating a LibGuide, this time was no different. I discovered you can manipulate the size of a tab. Our presentation includes twelve tabs displayed in two rows. To make the tabs fit on the page, I added html coding for a space (nbsp;) behind different titles and was able to finagle how they displayed. Since we have had luck adding that same code into a box title, it was worth trying.

As to the presentation guide, Deanna mentioned we have over three hours of information to present during a forty-five minute session. We are meeting via yahoo IM later this week to finalize - and tweak - the guide and plan.

Monday, May 11, 2009

2009 CMCIG Workshop @ AU

If you are attending the CMCIG spring workshop, Realigning the CMC to the Governor’s Pre K – 12 Education Plan,21st Century Skills, and Discovery Learning, at Ashland University this Friday, here are a few informational links including directions to Ashland, location of the Dwight Schar College of Education, and campus parking maps.

Dwight Schar College of Education is building #19 on the campus map; please note the academic corridor in front of this building is a closed walkway. Enter using the main doors and Ronk auditorium is located behind the main staircase in the vestibule.

Parking is available in Lot B, across the street from the senior apartments and COE.

"If you continue down King Road and take a left turn on to Samaritan Avenue, there is a large parking lot, Lot B, on your right. There are no visitor parking signs in this lot, but the lot is open to visitor parking. " -- Parking Lots on Campus

General Ashland University resources:

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Teaching and playing to learn

Over the last few days I have been collaborating with Dr. Deanna Romano, Ashland University Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Dwight Schar College of Education, on a presentation scheduled for next Friday, the 2009 CMCIG workshop. Our presentation, a work in progress titled Realigning Teacher Education Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Meet 21st Century Skills, will focus extensively on technologies currently being taught in EDCI 232/505 Introduction to the Principles of Instructional Technology.

I have had opportunity teach this course as an adjunct for the COE and appreciate each week brings a different technology to the forefront that may be used in the classroom. I get to refresh and polish my technology skills and theorize the same for the Instructional Resource Center. Concepts we are practicing, and in some cases introducing, to pre-service teachers may often be applied to libraries; students of all ages expect us to be if not proficient, at least have a rudimentary knowledge, of 2.0 technologies they are using at a blazing speed.

And, to be honest, it gives me the chance to play to learn. My tools of choice this week were Windows Movie Maker and YouTube. I spent time working with my new toy, a shiny new HP laptop, pulling together free, accessible resources to create a short library video. With the exception of wanting to "tweak" the sound at the beginning of the presentation, it is difficult to hear, I am pleased with the end result.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Revisiting ACRL 2009

While unloading my 2009 ACRL green bag Friday morning I realized that while I blogged about my poster, I had not discussed any sessions attended. Well that instance and, I am chagrined to acknowledge, an email from a friend asking me how I liked the ACRL conference; he read the poster session blog post but didn't see anything about the conference. Let me remedy the oversight!

First things first, let's talk about the bag. There was a lot of discussion and dissing of the green ACRL/EBSCO bat. Put me on the plus side; I like the bag from this conference. I find it just the right size because I cannot overload it and can immediately reach inside for what I need. No, it did not have pockets or any other bag amenities. But to be honest I rarely carry the conference bag at the conference, I have my own bag fulfilling that function. I use the conference bags at home and work. It was certainly a step up from the neon orange bag at ALA last summer.

New to me, Cyber Zed Shed sessions soon became my favorite conference function. At twenty minutes, fifteen to present and five for questions, they allowed speakers to present their information quickly and concisely and provided opportunity for audience questions. I missed the afternoon Zed Sheds do to the poster sessions, but the crowds seemed to increase, an illustrating the popularity of these presentations.

The only thing I found missing from this ACRL conference (and the one prior) was information for education librarians beyond ERIC, instruction and curriculum materials. As an education liaison and curriculum librarian managing a materials center supporting children's literature courses, I have a vested interest in juvenile collections and collection development. For that reason, I often find ALA Annual, with its plethora of public and school library sessions, more beneficial. This ACRL conference was better than the last one I attended, I will look forward to Philadelphia in 2011.

Now, I can take one more thing out of my ACRL bag!

Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 EduComm Conference

EduComm 2009 Helps Higher Education Institutions Compete for the Best and the Brightest Students

Powerhouse keynote presentations delve into cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, sustainability, social networking, and technology-based best business practices

NORWALK, Conn., April 9, 2009 – Student enrollment is declining, endowments have dried up, Alumni donations are in the tank, so how’s a higher education institution to stay afloat? Integrating innovative technologies that both cut costs and attract top-notch student talent ensures that high school students are Tweeting positively about your school. EduComm ( provides the “how to get there” for education executives.

Technology futurist George Gilder, New York Times columnist and best-selling author David Pogue, a panel on cloud computing with executives from AT&T, Amazon, Cisco, Google, IBM and Microsoft, a performance by School House Rock creators, as well as education industry experts from Crestron, E&I Cooperative Purchasing and Stamats will lead a power-packed three-day professional program.

During EduComm, top-tier executives and managers from college campuses around the nation will partake in stimulating intellectual debate on how emerging technologies are transforming todays—and tomorrow's—college campuses while they enjoy the breathtaking views of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Resort. EduComm is being held there June 16-18, 2009.

“This year we are helping higher education executives learn about cutting-edge technologies and smart business practices, while providing a little entertainment,” said Tim Goral, editor-in-chief of University Business and program chair for EduComm.

The first two days of the conference will offer attendees entertainment in the form of performance-enhanced luncheons. The Emmy award-winning creators of Schoolhouse Rock will perform a Schoolhouse Rock reunion concert enlisting music and song to share lessons they have learned about using new media with the digital generation. On the second day, David Pogue will use tech-themed parodies of popular songs, jokes and magic to turn insights about the latest social media and tech trends in education into laugh-out-loud entertainment.

Additionally, Gary Wilson of E&I Cooperative Purchasing, Jeffrey Singer of Crestron and Brenda Harms of Stamats will participate in a panel to discuss what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act means to higher education and the strategies that institutions can use to weather the economic storm.

“Colleges and Universities need to attract top notch talent, both in the way of student leaders and staff,” claims Goral. “Schools that remain behind on technology use, from managing business practices, to freeing up professor time, to preparing students for great careers are doing everyone a disservice, especially themselves. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube, students are sharing information at lightning speed and the power of a school that is “the buzz” is profound.” EduComm programming tracks are made up of Technology in the Classroom & Around the Campus, Facilities Design & System Support, Internet & Social Media, and Strategies for Success.

More About Educomm

EduComm is the only national technology management conference focused on connecting higher education with AV and IT technology to enhance the classroom experience. From keynote addresses and dynamic presentations to hands-on sessions and professional workshops, EduComm's goal is to help develop successful strategies for integrating AV and IT, make wise purchasing decisions, and provide solutions for managing the training and support functions in higher education facilities. For more information visit EduComm online at or e-mail

Monday, April 20, 2009

OLSSI 2009

OLSSI 2009 : The Ohio Library Support Staff Institute
Denison Univiversity, Granville, OH
August 2 - 4, 2009

The Ohio Library Support Staff Institute, has opened registration for OLSSI 2009!

We’ve added a discounted Early Bird Registration Rate of $200 until May 15th. And our scholarship contest is still open for first-time attendees!

For more information, contact Michael Bradshaw at OLSSI.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CMCIG Spring Workshop 2009

Realigning the CMC to the Governor’s
Pre K – 12 Education Plan
21st Century Skills, and Discovery Learning

Friday, May 15, 2009
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Ronk Lecture Hall # 138
Dwight Schar College of Education
Ashland University, Ashland, OH 44805

This workshop will feature Lou Staffilino, Associate Superintendent, ODE – presenting the Governor’s Pre K-12 education plan with time for questions and answers.

Other sessions will include:

  • Realigning Science Instruction using Science Materials by FOSS and Delta Education
  • Realigning Math Instruction using Everyday Mathematics by Wright Group McGraw Hill
  • Realigning Teacher Education using 2.0 Technologies to meet 21st Century Skills
  • Realigning the CMC with New Titles and New Presentation of the Collection

ALAO Members $30.00
Non-Members $60.00

Registration deadline: May 8, 2009
No refunds after: May 11, 2009

Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Registration forms are available @

Please make checks payable to ALAO and mail with a copy of the registration to:

A. Carolyn Sanders
P.O. Box 1006
Hallie Q. Brown Memorial Library
Central State University
Wilberforce, Ohio 45384

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Movie Night at the Library

Did you ever offer a movie night at your library? I did, last night. I am helping with a local community reads initiative, Marion Reads and our book is To Kill a Mockingbird. This is a great choice; it has lots written about it, it is studied in high school English classes, there's a movie version and even a stage production. We are lucky to offer all three to our community. I showed the movie at my library and so did the public library.

Our local theater, the historic Marion Palace Theatre, is showing the stage production on April 23; several book discussions and programs are going on this month. Our mayor has just proclaimed April "Marion Reads Month" in our community.

I had only a few folks show, but I had never watched it and it was great. But read the book before you watch the movie; you'll notice some differences.

I'm excited. We have limited funding, but through the generosity of our Marion Community Foundation, Marion Public Library, The Palace and Ohio State Marion, we have been able to offer free tickets to students at area high schools and senior centers. The public library purchased 250 copies of the book for the community to borrow; my library is hosting a website and created the calendar of events, sponsored some programming and are giving some tickets aways at our events.

We've been doing activities since early February, but most of them will take place this month. I get to talk on the local radio station, WMRN, on April 14 about 8:15 a.m. Wish me luck.

If you are near Marion on April 23, order some tickets from the Palace Theatre and join us for a great viewing of a timeless classic.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ohioana Library Awards Announced

From the Ohioana Library:

Columbus, OH – March 30, 2009—

The Ohioana Library has announced the 26 finalists for the 2009 Ohioana Book Awards. “Ohio authors are amazing! The variety, and depth of topics and characters included in this year’s array of book award finalists represent the finest in the literature of our time. We are a proud to recognize the authors from all areas of our state who have published outstanding books this year.” said Linda Hengst, executive director of the Ohioana Library. “We receive 700 to 900 books a year all of which become eligible for the book awards, so the authors of the books selected as finalists should feel truly honored.”

The book awards are given in five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, juvenile literature, and “about Ohio/Ohioans.” Many of the book award finalists will be at our 3rd annual Ohioana Book Festival on May 9th. Ohioana will announce the winners in each category near the end of August, and recipients will be honored at the annual Ohioana Day Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

These are the Ohioana Book Award finalists :

The Roswell Poem by Rane S. Arroyo – Toledo (WordFarm, 2008)
Everywhere at Once by William Greenway - Youngstown (University of Akron, 2008)
Without Saying by Richard Howard – Cleveland (Turtle Point, 2008)
The Wave-Maker by Elizabeth Spires – Lancaster (Norton, 2008)
An Unmistakable Shade of Red by Mary E. Weems – Cleveland (Bottom Dog, 2008)

An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke – Cincinnati (Algonquin, 2008)
Gone Tomorrow by P. F. Kluge – Gambier (Overlook, 2008)
The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard by Erin McGraw – Columbus (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)
A Mercy by Toni Morrison – Lorain (Knopf, 2008)
The End by Salvatore Scibona - Cleveland (Graywolf, 2008)
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld – Cincinnati (Random, 2008)

Pure Goldwater by John W. Dean – Akron (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008)
In the Mind’s Eye by Elizabeth Dodd - Athens (University of Nebraska, 2008)
Baghdad at Sunrise by Peter R. Mansoor – Columbus (Yale University, 2008)
The Man Who Adores the Negro by Patrick B. Mullen – Columbus (University of Illinois, 2008)
Hospital by Julie Salamon – Seaman (Penguin, 2008)

About Ohio
Clyde Singer’s America M. J. Albacete - Canton (Kent State University, 2008)
Cleveland: The Flats, The Mill, and The Hills by Andrew Borowiec – Canton (The Center for American Places, Columbia College, Chicago 2008)
The University of Cincinnati photographed by Robert A. Flischel – Cincinnati (RAF, 2007)
All the Way Home by David Giffels – Akron (Wm Morrow, 2008)
Politician Extraordinaire by Frank P. Vazzano – Canton (Kent State University, 2008)

The Death of Jayson Porter by Jaime Adoff – Yellow Springs (Hyperion, 2008)
Where the Steps Were by Andrea Cheng - Cincinnati (Wordsong, 2008)
Beneath My Mother’s Feet by Amjed Qamar - Dublin (Atheneum Young Readers, 2008)
Our Farm by Michael J. Rosen – Columbus/Perry County (Darby Creek, 2008)
The Floating Circus by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer – West Chester (Bloomsbury Children’s. 2008)

The Ohioana Awards began in 1942, with James B. “Scotty” Reston, Walter Havighurst, and Willard M. Kiplinger as the first recipients. In addition to the book awards, the library sponsors six other awards, including citations in a various fields, a editorial excellence award for an Ohio based journal or magazine, the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant for a young (30 years of age or younger) unpublished author, the Robert Fox Awards for Young Writers, and the Ohioana Pegasus and Career Awards.

The mission of the Ohioana Library, established in 1929 by First Lady Martha Kinney Cooper, is to recognize and encourage the creative accomplishments of Ohioans; preserve and expand a permanent collection of books, sheet music, manuscripts, and other materials by Ohioans and about Ohio; and disseminate information about the work of Ohio writers, musicians and other artists to researchers, schools and the general public. Individuals can visit the library at 274 E. First Ave., Columbus, OH, or online at

Monday, March 23, 2009

OLSSI Scholarships

OLSSI Scholarships are awards covering the entire $225 registration fee for the annual Ohio Library Support Staff Institute. This will allow three people to attend the 2009 Institute free of charge.

To apply, you must meet the following criteria:
  1. Be presently employed as a library support staff member.
  2. Be a first-time attendee of the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute.
  3. Agree to contribute to the planning the 2010 Institute as a Steering Committee member.

How to Apply:

Please write, in 200 words or less, why you would like to attend the Institute, and how you think attending OLSSI will help you and enhance your library/work performance.

  • All applications must be written by the applicant, not their supervisor(s).
  • The Scholarship Contest begins at 8:00 AM, March 21, 2009
  • Deadline for scholarship entry is 5:00 PM, April 21, 2009
  • Winners will be announced on or before April 24, 2009.
  • Remember to provide the information listed below, along with your essay.

Please send via e-mail to
Good luck & we hope to see you at Denison University for OLSSI 2009 !

Name: ____________________
Title: ____________________
E-Mail Address: _____________________
Library/Institution: __________________
Address: __________________________
City/State/Zip: _____________________
Phone: ___________________________

ESSAY: 200 words or less.
Why would you like to attend the 2009 Ohio Library Support Staff Institute?
How do you think attending OLSSI will help you & enhance your work?

OLSSI dates:

Scholarship contest: March 21 – April 21, 2009. Announcement April 24, 2009.
Early Bird Registration: April 1st - May 15th.
Registration- May 15th - July 15th.
OLSSI 2009: August 2 – 4, 2009

For more information, contact Michael Bradshaw, OLSSI

Friday, March 20, 2009

LibGuides @ ACRL

There were seven different LibGuides presentations, in session, panel, poster, and Zed Shed format, at ACRL last week. Marc Bertone at Springshare has put together a Conference Presentation LibGuide (ACRL Tab) with information about each session. The listing is alphahbetical, ours is near the middle of the page, and has links to poster images, slide shows, and guides created to support presentations. Additionally, there are links to presenters LibGuide profiles (though my profile link is suspiciously absent from our listing).

Interested in more LibGuide links?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ACRL Conference: Poster Session

Poster sessions, what a rush at ACRL! I thought I knew what to expect. I was prepared for the session. Prior to the conference a few panic laden printing glitches were overcome, our poster was finished on time and accompanying business cards (200 of them) with online materials were ready. The day of our presentation I scouted out our poster's location in the pavilion, they had moved poster tables between Friday and Saturday, and I was ready to talk about our LibGuides. In retrospect, I failed to take into account two things; (1) poster sessions at ACRL are the scheduled sessions for that time period and (2) the vast interest in LibGuides at this conference.

Sara, Kathryn, and I spent an invigorating fast-paced hour talking to excited and inquiring librarians about LibGuides. Questions covered an array of topics ranging from ease of use to integration capability with content management systems; there were even questions regarding how we made our poster! Thank you to everyone who stopped to talk, I enjoyed the conversations and idea-sharing.

Feel free to visit our LibGuide about our use of LibGuides created to support this ACRL poster, a previous presentation at the Learning, Libraries, and Technology Conference, and to highlight how Ashland University Library is utilizing LibGuides.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Journal of Library Innovation is seeking submissions for publication for its inaugural issue in January 2010.

The Journal of Library Innovation, one of the first journals devoted explicitly to innovation and creativity in libraries, is a peer reviewed, electronic journal published by the Western New York Library Resources Council. Its mission is to disseminate research and information on innovative practice in libraries of all types.

Innovation in libraries can include, but is not limited to the following:

  • The discovery of unmet user needs.
  • The introduction of new services or the retooling of traditional services resulting in a better user experience.
  • Creative collaboration between libraries, or between libraries and other types of institutions, resulting in demonstrable improvements in service to users.
  • Implementing new technologies to improve and extend library service to meet user needs.
  • Explorations of the future of libraries.
  • Pilot testing unconventional ideas and services.
  • Redefining the roles of library staff to better serve users.
  • Developing processes that encourage organizational innovation.
  • Reaching out to and engaging library users and non-users in new and creative ways.
  • Creative library instruction and patron programming.
  • Finding new ways to make library collections or library facilities more useful.

The Journal of Library Innovation publishes original research, literature reviews, commentaries, case studies, reports on innovative practices, and book, conference and product reviews. The journal also welcomes provocative essays that will stimulate thought on the current and future role of libraries in an Internet Age.

For more information and submission guidelines visit or contact Pamela Jones, the Managing Editor, at

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ALAO Workshop: SSIG

Keeping Libraries Afloat: USS IG
ALAO-SSIG Spring Workshop 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009 • 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Washington State Community College • Marietta, Ohio
710 Colgate Drive, Marietta OH 45745 • 740.374.8716
Includes Continental Breakfast & Lunch
Chair Massage Available!

This year’s workshop features Dr. Kerry Strayer, Professor of Communications at Otterbein College, who will share her knowledge of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" as well as the following sessions:
  • Removing Whirlpools from Workflows - Morag Boyd, Ohio State University & Constance Strait, Greene Co. Public Library
  • Bobbing on the Horizon: Electronic Resources - Deberah England, Wright State University
  • Marietta: Where Ohio History Resides - Linda Showalter, Marietta College Special Collections
  • Creating Brochures: Microsoft Publisher Floats Your Boat - Peggy Rector, Denison University
  • From Bow to Stern: Rowing Together - Georgene Johnson, Washington State Community College
  • Drifting Along With Chair Yoga - Marietta Area YMCA

Early Bird Pricing: Jan 5 - Feb 13th $25 per person
Regular Pricing: Feb 14 - Mar 13th $35 per person
Registrations due: March 13, 2009
No refunds after March 6, 2009

For more information, contact: Judith Thompson-Verdi:
Driving directions:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crayons & Paper

The deadline for submitting our ACRL LibGuides poster to campus printing services draws near. After determining which poster format to use, keeping in mind the printer guidelines, we hit a blank wall, literally. It's amazing how overwhelming a blank eight foot canvass brimming with expectation can be.

Earlier this week we had a break-through concerning poster design and layout. Confident it will be visually appealing and properly support our abstract and outcomes; we are now suffering with a few lingering qualms about size; text box size, font size, graphic size and readability sizing to be exact. The problem? We are judging said readable size on a poster that is eight foot by three foot currently depicted in miniature on our computer screen (see rendering @ 25% below).

While we know the font sizes range from 40 to 60, the long view is overwhelming (if not microscopic). Sections by section representations increased to 50% and 100% are helpful for specking pixel distortion, but not particularly helpful viewed across the room to gauge that readability factor.

This afternoon I decided the best way to allay this finicky concern was to create a physical representation of the poster. Luckily, I have easy access to just the tools in the Instructional Resource Center and commenced using crayons (it needed to be in color), white bulletin board paper (its three foot wide), and a yard stick to make a "to scale" map of a corner of our poster. Though I garnered several odd looks, I was working at the reference desk, I was soon able to color, cut, and tape my way to virtual poster success. I taped the finished product to the desk, stepped back the requisite three feet, was able to read all of the text, and could judge sizing of graphical elements to be suffice.

The mock poster is now patiently awaiting the verdict of my fellow presenters. To be honest, I am flush with success and wondering if I should tinker a bit more with the file in question. Maybe it could be bigger ...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Multicultural Literature Conference Coming

I received notice of this upcoming literature conference from Kent State University:

The Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth will celebrate its 25th anniversary April 2 - 3, 2009 at Kent State University. Sponsored by Kent State's College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services, the School of Library and Information Science, and the Office of Continuing and Distance Education, the conference provides a forum for discussion of multicultural themes and issues in literature for children and young adults.

"Reflections!" is the theme of the conference, invoking the memory of the late Virginia Hamilton and her tradition of closing many of the past conferences with her personal reflections and readings. This year's conference will look back on the life and work of Hamilton and the 24 previous gatherings, bringing together writers, illustrators, librarians, teachers, students, and scholars who were inspired by her work, many of whom knew her personally.

Renowned Caldecott award winning illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon; National Book Award winning illustrator Barry Moser; and Newbery Honor award winning author Jacqueline Woodson will be the featured guests. Moser and Woodson are this year's 11th Annual Virginia Hamilton Literary Award winners and will be addressing the opening gathering the evening of April 2. Leigh Adoff, daughter of Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff and a well-known singer and actress in Europe, will perform Thursday evening as well. An autograph session and dessert reception will follow.

Friday's schedule includes multiple workshop sessions highlighting all aspects of teaching, sharing, and creating multicultural themes in children's and young adult literature, presented by local and national experts. Recipients of the 2009 Virginia Hamilton and Arnold Adoff Creative Outreach Grant for Teachers and Librarians will be announced and attendees will have the opportunity to attend a conversation session with the featured conference guests and presenters.

In addition to celebration the 25th anniversary, we are unveiling our new Virginia Hamilton Conference website at . The conference reaches capacity quickly, so early registration is encouraged. For more information, contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at 330-672-3100 or 800-672-KSU2

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

R U a Spelling B champion?

Last night, I had the privilege of being the pronouncer for our local county spelling bee. I believe we had about 24 students from 4 area county schools, from grades 6,7,8.

I've never done this before, so I was probably as nervous as the contestants. One of the neat things the organizer did was to use words from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird as their practice words. This was because our community will soon be involved in a community reads program (MarionReads) and we will be reading/watching/discussing that book. I so appreciated her including that for us.

As I said, I've never done this before so I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing, other than pronouncing. It seems I needed to announce the end of each round and would the students who misspelled in the round please leave the competition area? I also indicated if they pronounced it correctly or not. And at the end, I was to announce the winner. Had I known this ahead, I would have been better prepared for my duties and made sure the students received the appropriate recognition.

The words were interesting and I am grateful I knew most of them! I was asked at times to repeat the pronounciation, to give a definition and/or use it in a sentence.

I was amazed at the words the students spelled and they varied from fairly easy to more complicated with each turn. I used an offical guide that included the pronunciation and the definition and a sentence. Fortunately, we didn't use the 300 words I was given, because I wasn't sure of some of them myself. Being a pronouncer certainly gives you a reality check for your own knowledge!

After 45 minutes and quite a few rounds, a winner was declared; a 7th grade young lady from Ridgedale. The winner and runner-up each got trophies; others received gifts cards and medallions and there was a nice reception afterward. As a bonus, it was recorded to be broadcast on a local TV channel this coming Saturday. If I can find a TV with cable, I'll check and see how bad I look from behind and how well I sounded pronouncing. Our local newspaper photographer was there snapping pictures. I hope he missed me!

I enjoyed this experience and look forward to doing it again, if asked. Now that I know how it sort of progresses, I will be better prepared next time.

I encourage you to get involved with or attend a local spelling bee. You'll gain an appreciation for what you were taught (or maybe regret that you didn't pay better attention in English class when you were learning vocabulary!)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wear Red This Friday!

This Friday, help highlight awareness of heart disease by wearing red. Wear Red Day, part of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Campaign, brings awareness of heart disease, especially in women.

We have a special assistant in our library who helps us out on occasion with various events and activities. Monique is visiting our library this week to help us to encourage patrons to wear red on Friday.
Won't you join Monique and my staff by wearing red this Friday???!!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

PW Children's Bookshelf

Children's Bookshelf from Publisher's Weekly posted interviews with 2009 Caldecott Award Winner artist Beth Krommes and 2009 Newbery Award Winner author Neil Gaiman.

"During her 10-year career in children’s books, Krommes has received several awards for her artwork, including the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (Houghton, 2001), the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award for Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman (Houghton, 2006), as well as a number of Best Book and ALA Notable commendations. But she never expected this. “I don’t think I’ve really taken it in,” she said. “I feel like a newcomer to the industry. I trained as a fine artist, and I never thought I’d be here doing this.” -- John A. Sellers, 1/29/09

"When asked how it felt to become the new Miss America of children’s literature, since the Newbery Medal comes with quite a good deal of responsibilities, invitations, and appearances, Gaiman laughed. “There is definitely this sense of responsibility, the sort of thing where I keep thinking I really mustn’t rob a bank this year. The news headline would inevitably be "Newbery Winner Robs Bank." I have to say away from Ponzi schemes too,” he added. “Though, to be honest, none of this has even started to sink in yet.” - Donna Freitas, 1/29/09

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Newbery Award

The ALA Youth Media Awards were announced yesterday at the ALA Midwinter Meetings in Denver. Interest is always high for featured awards the Caldecott and Newbery Medals and yesterday was no exception. This year there were technological resources abound as ALA's web site had a live web cast defaulting on the main page, the winners simulcast on Twitter and later posted results on Facebook; all before the official press release. At home with my personal dial-up relic, I had the best luck with Twitter and Facebook.

Most of the chatter today seems centered on the Newbery selection. I am pleased to report we have the title in our collection, I even remember seeing it go through technical services. Unfortunately, my web work during the summer and fall derailed my lunch-time reading. While I remember seeing the book (it's blue), I have not yet had opportunity to read it so I am only able to report (no comments). Our cataloging librarian, a fantasy aficionado, both read and enjoyed.

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book was selected as the 2009 Newbery Medal Award winner.

A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens.

"A child named Nobody, an assassin, a graveyard and the dead are the perfect combination in this deliciously creepy tale, which is sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting and sometimes surprising," said Newbery Committee Chair Rose V. TreviƱo. - ALA Newbery Medal Site, 1/26/09

As I was reading various news stories on the announcement, my favorite is Gaimans Blog entry from yesterday morning: Insert Amazed and Delighted Swearing Here. For more news and announcements:

A quick check shows ten libraries in OhioLINK currently have 59 copies of this book; in each instance it is due, on hold, in transit, or being held. Part of that is a testament to the popularity among readers for Gaiman's work, the rest is an indication of the power of the Newbery. Our second copy is on order and a hold has been placed on the copy currently a week overdue somewhere on campus.

Friday, January 23, 2009

ACRL Poster Session

Sara Klink, Kathryn Venditti, and I will be presenting a poster on LibGuides at ACRL in Seattle ... very soon. Our poster presentation, Guides to Go: Using LibGuides to Deliver Information, is scheduled for Saturday from 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM. With the hard part behind us, actually being accepted to present, we are now concentrating on creating the poster.

We recently received an email with poster size details; they are 4 feet high by 8 feet wide, as well as guidelines for preparing the presentation. Much of what is detailed is common sense, including specifications for font and heading sizing. Armed with content and guidelines, the most difficult decision we have to make at this point is the layout of our poster. Ashland has a quality printing service that does a great job with professional projects of this nature. However, a phone call to reveals their printer will accommodate items up to 38 inches wide; posters are to be 48 inches. The first of many meetings on Wednesday resulted in narrowing our configuration options.

Option one:
Two 8 foot sections, one 3 foot high with a 1 foot header

Option two:
Two 2 1/2 foot sections and a 3 foot section 4 foot high.

Both options have inherent pros and cons for display and preparation purposes, especially taking into consideration the collaborative nature of the project. Option one allows for the header to be highlighted and a more seamless poster, option two will be automatically the correct height and theoretically provide each of us a section and both options will present a minor challenge affixing the poster to the board. As we consider the possibilities, both options have been created in Publisher and saved on a network drive. We can work both individually and collaboratively; with a healthy dose of brainstorming added to the mix I have high hopes for the end product.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Not so early birds

Did you register? Are you going to ACRL in Seattle? Along with many fellow ACRL members, I waited until last Friday to register for the 14th National Conference and take advantage of the $70 early bird pricing. Though a not-so-early-bird, registration was a breeze and even remembered to select volunteer and the All Conference Reception on my form. Thanks to my conference and flight buddy, fellow Library Cloud contributor Betsy, I already had a hotel reservation; a big change from ALA when I never seem to register soon enough to book a hotel room through the conference site. All that remained were our airline reservations from Columbus to Seattle, in my experience something that though usually costly is mostly a straightforward process. At least it was until this time.

I began with the usual suspects, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and AAA. It soon became apparent I was not to only late-bird who registered and began pursuing the airlines. Flights were available, but had only single seats remaining or were exorbitant in price ($450+) and flight time (upwards of 10 hours & some overnight). After twice selecting a flight only to receive a message indicating the price had increased between the time I first viewed it and clicked "select," something I have never seen before (false advertising?), I determined availability and demand were in fine form and abandoned my quest for the afternoon.

Tuesday afternoon I returned to the scene of the crime garnering the same results. A few more options, but most included flights via Georgia with extensive lay-overs. I finally went directly to the airlines and with Continental was able to book a reasonably priced trip with timely departures and limited layovers. Since our flight was verified later Tuesday afternoon, I can now say I am attending the ACRL conference, will not have to walk to get there, and will have somewhere to lay my head after a day full of conference activities.

Now, all I have to do is finish working with my poster session partners designing our LibGuides poster presentation. It's our first at ACRL and we are very excited!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If it's not one thing

Technology is great, technology allows us to reach users/patrons/students both in-house and over distances with regularity, technology facilitates classrooms around the globe, and most importantly technology is not infallible. I do not mean simple, or even complex, user error which happens. I do mean the times when severs are down, systems hiccup, and software updates to make things better make them, well, temporarily worse. That doesn't mean my love affair with technology is over; it does mean the relationship is complicated at times.

The library and resource center use Meebo chat/IM services on the library web site, IRC web site, and within many of our LibGuides (See Children's Literature Resources). All are strategically placed to allow patrons the opportunity to choose this mode of communication if they desire. This morning Meebo mysteriously went off-line for several hours. There are so many other ways to get help from a librarian that waiting for the problems to be resolved was only a minor inconvenience. Interestingly enough, the Meebo Blog post updating users was dated Tuesday and our service had been working all week.

We have been using LibGuides at AU since late summer. I am a BIG fan of the content management system and, along with other librarians on staff, have worked to create several education guides for a wide variety of topics. In fact, three AU librarians, me included, will be presenting a poster session at ACRL in Seattle, Washington and a session at the 2009 Learning, Libraries, and Technology Conference in Columbus in March. Since LibGuides has instituted updates the end of last year, there have been a few technology glitches to overcome. We have had issues with guides not displaying in IE (fixed for users, but still a problem with administrators), tags and the tag cloud functioning improperly, and our library header style sheet continues to not function within the LibGuide environment. Customer service is great at LibGuides and I am confident these problems will be resolved. But they are part and parcel with using web 2.0 technology.

This week was fraught with course management system "glitches." I am teaching two educational technology courses using Angel, both had serious glitches to start the week. Last week I set target dates to start (ie open to students) on Friday morning. Monday morning a quiz for one class and several discussion boards for another mysteriously set themselves back to the fall semester dates rendering them unavailable to students. Luckily, eagle-eyed students brought them to my attention and it was something that could be easily fixed. While I feel it is imperative when working with an online course the technology work the first time, part of using the technology is being able to trouble-shoot when things go wrong; because they will.

Before lunch I began editing a Content Cafe screen capture video created to highlight it's capabilities to students. I need to insert a few finishing touches before producing it for use. Ultimately, it will be posted on one the Book Reviews section of my Children's Literature LibGuide. I have registered for a Springshare webinar this afternoon and am looking forward to the session. As with any complicated relationship, there is always more to learn.

Friday, January 09, 2009

ACRL Web Survey

ACRL is redesigning their web site, conforming to the new ALA template. A second call for member opinions is being sought via a web survey:

Dear ACRL Member,

We are redesigning the ACRL web site and need your opinions to inform our work. If you have not yet completed the web survey (available at
), please take our 10-minute survey by 4:30 p.m. CDT, Friday, January 16, 2009.

We thank you for your time and appreciate your opinion regarding the proposed ACRL web site changes (viewable at

Jon Stahler, Web Services Manager
Association of College and Research Libraries

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Like Diane, I enjoyed escaping the workplace as much as possible over the holiday. I admit it was very difficult to return on Monday, especially with the weather turning so yucky so quickly the last two days.

Ever feel like you have nothing to say? I've felt that way recently; hence I have not posted for awhile. Maybe the holiday season had me down a little.

Anyway, I resolve to post more often and so today, I noticed that Booklist has published their Editor's Choice for 2008 lists nicely divided into categories: Adult Books, Books for Youth, Adult Books for Young Adults, Media and Reference Sources. So check them out and fill those wintery nights with some cool titles to read. A fuzzy blanket, fuzzy slippers, a warm drink and a good book ... what a combo!!!

I actually got to read the book Dewey over the holiday. What a cat! And kudos to the library and director for recogizing the special qualities of him. He lived for 19 years and embued the public library with a wonderful sense of purpose and community.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A great philosophy

A two-week holiday hiatus from work results in a backlog of necessary tasks and duties well beyond email (220+), blog feeds (1300+), blog posts, and library web site updates. Yesterday was devoted to scheduling graduate assistants and student workers for the spring semester in the IRC and making preparations necessary to begin the semester smoothly (including new stacks signage and update the wall collage).

Today, I've whittled the pile of journals perched in my mailbox down to two, the December 15, 2008 issue of Booklist and the December 2008 issue of School Library Journal. Since both of these are fun, I get to order juvenile books and the SLJ TechKnowledge sections never fail to have a great idea or two, in fact the December issue highlights Ohio Opens Schoolrooms, it is pretty much win-win for me.

But, I digress.

Taking Care of Business, an article by Christopher Harris, discusses how collection development policies and plans may help inform people what libraries have to offer students. What caught my attention was the accompanying photograph of Tracey Reed, a librarian at Clearwater Public Library, featuring a great sign:

Bother Me!
I'm here to help you ...

Bravo! Everyone is busy, but we are here to help.

Interested in the photograph? Use Academic Search Complete, or any other database that features SJL, the article is available in full text html and pdf with picture. Unfortunately, it is not available on the SLJ website.

SPARC Open Access Newsletter (January)

The January issue (#129) of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter is now available online. Topics in this issue include:

Monday, January 05, 2009

A New Year with 99 Things

I am not a big fan of email forwards or blog meme's, but this one from Walt at Random (though he refer's to it as a blogchain) via Ruminations caught my attention and is an interesting way to start the new year.

The 99 Things Meme

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog.
Several, it's fun.

2. Slept under the stars.
Camping when I was a child, it's fabulous.

3. Played in a band.
A serious band geek ... I played several instruments, but not always well.

4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland/world.
I was in Disney World the first year it opened, again as a senior in high school when our band marched down Main Street (very cool), and once more as a grown-up. I love amusement parks, so I can't say which was best. Last summer I had dinner in Disneyland while at ALA.

8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis.
Lot's of fun with the neighborhood kids.

10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.
... on more than one on those camping trips.

22. Hitch hiked (not going to happen).

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
More of a mental health day ... sometimes I miss those college days.

24. Built a snow fort.
Though it was more of an igloo, it took forever and I had help.

25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
Especially beautiful over the ocean.

31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
An awesome sight, from either side of the border.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
During summer and winter, it's somehow more peaceful during the winter.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.
Ties in with #78 broken bone, I have never been particularly graceful

47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistene chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
We used to go as kids in the back of the family station wagon.

55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
Many, many, girl scout cookies ... once we were the pick-up house for cookies.

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
The best reason to get flowers is for no reason at all.

64. Donated blood.
65. Gone sky diving (why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a cheque.
68. Flown in a helicopter.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
I had a doll named Velvet, if you pushed her belly-button you could "grow" her hair. She had a knob at her back that pulled the hair back inside. My grandmother used to make her clothes.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
Several times, including a seventh grade trip to Washington, DC.

71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone.
Several, many, whatever word is more appropriate (sigh).

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car.
Once, many moons ago, and I drove it until the engine fell out. Loved that car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House.
On those same family vacations mentioned previously (back when you were allowed inside).

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox.
Along with my sisters.

89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.

91. Met someone famous.
I met author Susan Elizabeth Phillips at ALA last summer, she was very gracious.

92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.
Traveling with family and - wait for it - at ALA midwinter several years ago.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.

98. Owned a cell phone.
Still own, though it's not my favorite toy.

99. Been stung by a bee.