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).