Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week 2010

Banned Books week 2010 is September 25th through October 2nd; "Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted" (ALA, Press Kit). Students enjoy discussing banned and challenged books, as well as different forms of censorship. One of the more difficult concepts to grasp is while a book may banned or challenged by one group or school district, it does not mean it is banned for everyone.

The fall release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows re-opens continuing discussion of the series place on the most frequently challenged lists. Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian was recently challenged and removed from a school district in Stockton, Missouri. When perusing the Banned and Challenged Classics list, I am continually surprised by the number of titles I recognize because they are classics and because they were required reading for English classes in high school.

ALA Links

Articles of Interest: Banned Books Week:

I found this video on OIF YouTube Channel, it's an interesting look at the Top Ten Banned and Challenged Books of 2009.

And last year's Puppet Book Banners video from ALA's YouTube Channel.

Time to go find a great book to read, it's my choice.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekly reader wrap-up

Compiling interesting posts from my reader is quickly becoming a Friday lunchtime habit. I promise to quit complaining about Google Reader, especially if it quits crashing in IE (guess it's a Google vs Microsoft thing). I'm learning default to Mozilla for Reader.
  • 30 Days of Back to School: Learning From and With Devices
    "It is pretty exciting to learn about what’s being piloted in schools and libraries across the country and learn how the use of these devices can improve and enhance teaching, learning, and library services for teens."
    - YALSA Blog, Linda Braun (9/23/10) *Note, YALSA site was down earlier this morning.
  • YouTube Instant Creater Accepts Job at YouTube
    "Stanford computer science student Feross Aboukhadijeh is celebrating two milestones this week, his YouTube Instant site hitting one million visitors in ten days as well as a new job, having accepted Chad Hurley’s job offer over Twitter shortly after his Google Instant-inspired service caught the attention of the YouTube founder.
    " - TechCrunch, Alexia Tsotsis (9/24/10)
  • Immersion ’11 Applications Now Available
    "ACRL is currently accepting applications for the Immersion ’11 Program Teacher and Program tracks to be held July 24-29, 2011, at Seattle University. The ACRL Immersion ’11 Program provides four-and-a-half days of intensive information literacy training and education for academic librarians."
    -- ACRL Insider, Margot Conahan (9/22/10) *Note, ACRL Insider was experiencing the same problem as the YALSA blog.
  • A Snapshot: What They Read and Why
    "The new school year started, for us, just ten days ago. I used the Library classes time to catch up with my 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students about their summer reads."
    -- ALSC Blog, Roxanne Feldman (9/22/10)

Anything interesting in the blogosphere catch your attention this week?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Collection presentation & adjustment

Most of last year, and the bulk of this summer, was spent planning, purchasing, and processing collection items for the new IRC at the AU Columbus Center. The beginning of September brought an 'official' space planning visit; time was spent arranging furniture and the collection. Determining what should go where is fraught with challenge. For me, the IRC has always been a more fluid area. With the exception of this summer, I have moved one collection or another on the second floor to make things 'fit better' and be more useful and accessible for patrons. Therefore, one of the last things I said to the GA helping me was, live with it for a few months (this term). We can always move things around later.

Truer words ... After ordering media bags for the big books in Columbus, I developed display envy and determined to find a better way to present the main campus collection. Several days' research into library shelving led me to Library Design Association, they sent sample media rack bars from MJ Industries and Estey. I was able to test them in our stacks; one was perfect for audio books and the other for big books.

Last Friday the bars arrived, Monday I began the task of putting each of the big books into a hanging bag (it took significantly longer than anticipated) and organizing the collection. It looks wonderful! The bags hang spine out so labels on the top and bottom left corner are easily visible; the collection is presented in LC order. There is adequate room for users to browse the collection without having to pull big books from the cart.

This move has an added benefit, the adjacent collection is audio books and several of the big books have corresponding audio elements available. Placing the collection in LC order revealed a few holes, it would benefit to have a few more basic fiction and Spanish language titles (though I probably will need to purchase two more racks to facilitate the weight of these purchases). Signage is in place, the collection is ready for use, and notices were posted on the IRC news blog and scheduled to post on the library news blog later this week. The best thing? Students required to use big books in one of the children's literature classes have already commented happily on the change.

Monday, September 20, 2010

ACRL: Cyber Zed Shed Proposals


Five weeks until the Cyber Zed Shed Proposal Deadline!

Deadline Nov 1.

Are you a tech savvy librarian using new technologies in innovative ways? Adapting existing technologies to reach user needs? Here is an opportunity to share your innovations with your colleagues, library administrators, and others at ACRL 2011. The ACRL 2011 Cyber Zed Shed Committee is looking for proposals that document technology-related innovations in every area of the library.

Whether you are teaching in a classroom; answering questions from patrons; acquiring, cataloging, processing or preserving materials; or providing other services, we're interested. We invite you to submit your most innovative proposals to help us make Philadelphia the site of a truly groundbreaking conference.

Cyber Zed Shed presentations are 20 minutes, with 15 minutes to present a demonstration, and five additional minutes for audience Q&A. Presentations should document technology-related innovations in academic and research libraries. A computer, data projector, screen, microphone, and stage will be provided in the Cyber Zed Shed theater. You will be responsible for bringing all other equipment required for your demonstration, except as agreed to in advance.

The deadline for submission is November 1, 2010.

Questions about Cyber Zed Shed submissions should be directed to:

Kenley Neufeld, Santa Barbara City College,
Emily Rimland, Pennsylvania State University,

Friday, September 17, 2010

my Google Reader

Once in a while on a Friday afternoon I succumb to the sirens lure of my bloglines account and share interesting posts. After a week of using Google Reader, complete with browser crashes while reading feeds, instances of "oops, an error occurred, please try again," already read items returning to new status, I miss bloglines. How much is user impatience? How much is Google Reader inconsistency? Time will tell. Meanwhile, here are a few posts from my reader:

  • Blog U: Are You Using RSS?
    "I'm an avid RSS (Really Simple Syndication) user. I admit it. I've been addicted to RSS for a very long time. My feed reader of choice since 2006 has been Bloglines. I have more than 360 subscriptions." - Eric Stoller, 9/17/10
  • HotStuff will be taking a short break
    "The HotStuff code relies very heavily on the Bloglines API and, with the annoucement that Bloglines will shut down on Oct 1st, this means HotStuff will be unable to fetch and process new blog posts." - Dave Pattern, 9/15/10

Enough self indulgence ...

  • Lessons from the Oatmeal (the website, not the food)
    "This isn’t a “get a million followers NOW NOW NOW!” type of video. It’s just a look at what’s worked for Matt, and what people want on the Web." - Digitizd, 9/15/10
  • Fearlessly Facing the Freshman Seminar
    "True confession: I’ve never taught freshmen in my life. So why am I, a provost, offering a class to 18-year olds? I asked myself this question earlier this summer as I enrolled as a participant in a faculty workshop." - Steven Allred, 9/16/10
  • Is Lecture Capture the New Lecture?
    "Much like learning management systems (LMS) a decade ago, or podcasting just a few years ago, lecture capture is an emerging/arriving technology: data from the 2009 Campus Computing Survey indicate that 3.5 percent of college courses make some use of lecture capture technology, up from 3.1 percent in 2008;" - Kenneth C. Green, 9/15/10
  • Drexel Freshman Get Help from Personal Librarians
    "With students spending more research time in front of the screen and less in the stacks, librarians at Drexel University are trying a fresh approach to helping new freshmen navigate their resources: 'personal librarians.'"- Travis Kaya, 9/14/10
  • The Rhythm of Online Teaching
    "Thought I'd try an experiment of sharing with you some of the best practices I'm trying to write up about the rhythm of online teaching, in the hopes that you will provide some ideas and feedback." - Joshua Kim, 9/14/10

A great Friday afternoon option? My shelving rods (hanging media) just arrived from Library Design Associates! I am going to build, replace old shelving with new,and Monday I will gleefully move the big book collection to their new home.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How LibGuides Link Librarians

I'm not sure how many of you use LibGuides at your libraries or how many of you have even heard of LibGuides. Just in case here is a little background. LibGuides is a knowledge sharing system which allows librarians to create individual guides or pathfinders that link users to library resources. While providing access to resources these guides also embrace the push towards web 2.0 by allowing librarians to share RSS feeds, podcasts, videos and polls.
I have had the pleasure of using LibGuides for the past few years while working at Ashland University and at my current position at Stark State College. I love the simplicity of creating guides for my patrons and the fact that I can update or change information in the blink of an eye. Along with the ease and enjoyment of creating LibGuides I'm finding there is an added bonus feature, so to speak.
LibGuides are a great way for librarians of all walks, to network and share ideas. I know I am always looking to my colleagues for ideas and I'm finding that LibGuides is wonderful for this! One way to gather ideas is to use the LibGuides Community Site. The Community Site is set up as a database of its own. You can search for guides by subject, school, author or keyword. I not only get ideas about guide design and layout but I find great links to online tools and resources. But this isn't the best part. If you find a guide that you would like to re-create but you don't know how or you find a tutorial created by another librarian you can contact them! Each guide has the author prominently displayed along with their contact information.
In the past three years of using LibGuides I have been contacted by four librarians from all regions of the country, asking me how I created something or asking if they could use a particular activity I posted. On the flip side, I myself have contacted numerous librarians asking them similar questions and never once has a librarian ever said "no".
So many of us are working on similar projects or putting together similar courses for our students and faculty without much time to get them done. Why reinvent the wheel when we can work as a community and share are ideas. The networking options through LibGuides and other social media tools are endless for librarians!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sad Demise of Bloglines

Logging in to my Bloglines account this afternoon, I was greeted with a prominently displayed message next to my updated feeds:

"As you may have heard, we are sorry to share that Bloglines will officially shut down on October 1, 2010." (Bloglines, 9/10/10).

The notice was accompanied by helpful instructions on how to export my feeds for later use. I've been using Bloglines for several years and enjoy the convenience of a web-based service; lacking the "bells and whistles" of other rss readers, it does what I want it to do. At least, it did. I have noticed a number of feeds that it no longer catches, downtimes appear with increasing regularity, and login began requiring word identification. Obviously, signs I ignored while mired in blogline complacency (smile).

I'm not relishing the task of finding a new reader and moving my feeds. I've considered Pageflakes, Netvibes, and iGoogle, but like the general reader format. The simplest option may be using Google Reader along with my other Google account items (Gmail, YouTube, Picassa, and Blogger). At the very least I need to move the feeds so I don't lose them.