Look Out MS Office!

There's a new breed of office productivety applications out there that not only don't require software, they're free!

Find out more at PLCMC's CC Blog


Got Email?

Do you feel like you don't have time to visit this site on a regular basis? Are you not-up-to-speed yet on RSS feeds or don't have a newsreader set-up to access them from?

Not to worry - email is here. Simply sign-up over there on the right and get posts from this blog emailed to you instead. :) -------------------->

(Pssst! You might have to scroll down a bit to see it)

PS: Happy Holidays!!


Google Launches Newsletter for Librarians

The first issue of the Google Librarian Newsletter has recently been launched.

To quote Google:
"Librarians and Google share the same mission: to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. The goal of the newsletter is to highlight way we can work together to full fill that mission for patrons, students and users."

Hmmm.... interesting? Thoughts?


Library 2.0

There’s been a lot of discussion lately both at conferences and in Blogsphere about the Library 2.0 - the second wave of libraries and librarianship.

“Library 2.0 is a direct spin-off of the term Web 2.0. In LibraryCrunch Casey suggested that libraries, especially public libraries, are at a crossroads where many of the underpinnings of Web 2.0 have applicable value within the library community – both in technology-driven services and in non-technology based services.

The active and empowered library user is a significant component of the Library 2.0 model for service. With information and ideas flowing in both directions – from the library to the user and from the user to the library – library services have the ability to evolve and improve on a constant and rapid basis. The user is participant, co-creator, builder and consultant – whether the product is virtual or physical.” (wikipedia)

This conversation between Michael Casey (of Library Crunch ) who coined the phrase and Michael Stephens (of Tame the Web ) explores how this new concept may (and is already is) becoming a reality in some libraries.

Where do we begin? A Library 2.0 Conversation (

What are your thoughts about this concept?


Connecting the Dots

The ability to organize and view digital content in a graphical format that helps the information seeker see the bigger picture has been on many libraries wishlists for a long time. Over the past few years there have been several vendors (including Library vendors such as AquaBrowser by MediaLab Solutions) working on innovative projects that attempt to do just by connecting the dots between different information categories and search terms. If you're completely clueless about what I'm talking about, well then take a look at these examples:

  1. Live Plasma - Enter a favorite artist, movie, director or actor in this search tool to see how the association is created.
  2. CNet's The Big Picture - Connect the dots between news stories, topics and companies.
  3. AquaBrowser - This search tool designed for Libraries help users connect the dots between information topics and different types of sources (catalog, internet, etc.) Try it for yourself here.
What are your thoughts on this graphical approach to displaying information and search results? Do you like it or find it easier to use than a page of links?


Got Game? Some Libraries Do!

The Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium is going on this week in Chicago and fortunately we have a staff member there to take in all the action. From all the posts and pictures (and I soon hope to see webcasts) posted from Blogger Alley (the name apparently given to the row of active bloggers attending the conference), it looks like there's a lot of discussion and 'gaming' going on. Here's a sampling of the discussions that are being generated:

Photos: Conference Photo Gallery on Flickr Presentations are suppose to be going up on the site soon.

So see, we didn't have to brave sub-zero temps there today to catch all the action. :)

What are your thoughts on gaming in libraries?

BTW: Martin, we expect a full report :)


Now that's a Library Blog

The use of a publishing tool (such as a blog) as means of delivering content through a Library website is a growing trend that I think we'll be seeing more and more of. Just this morning I stumbled across the Ann Arbor District Library website and was amazed how completely they seemed to have integrated the use of this tool within their site. Multiple staff members, including the Director, seem to be involved in delivering content to users via this mechanism and thus there seems to be a never ending amount of new content on the site.

Although I will admit that in some areas of their design, it looks the like extensive use of this tool may have its limitations, I do love the all the added content that their blogs provide and if I had one teeny-tiny suggestion for them, it would be a short and simple one... just don't label your sections "blogs" (as in the Catalog Area - Audio Blog, Books Blog, etc). Anything but blog. How about "Book Reviews", "Reading Recommendations" or "Staff Picks"? That's what they are aren't they? The word "blog" merely means "web log" which is actually in affect just a publishing tool that allows you to get content to a reader in a date driven format. Readers' don't care what the publishing tool is, all they care about is finding the content. Anyway - enough of my short soapbox.

Despite this one little area my hat goes off to AADL for demonstrating just how effective this publishing tool can be. ( just look at the feedback they get in their GT area) It's actually a very clean and nicely designed site and delivers information very effectively!

As we look at redesigning the PLCMC site this coming year, what thoughts come to mind as to how we might also be able to take advantage of this tool?

PS: I gotta share one other little gem that I found in my searching... this AADL Catalog plug-in that was developed for use with Firefox's Search Bar!

Update: 12/28 Lessons Learned from AADL redesign - a great list



Deal averts Internet showdown

"U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Gallagher said the deal means the United States will leave day-to-day management to the private sector, through a quasi-independent organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN."

Use the link and read the whole article. More later, PE


Mapping the "New" World

There's a great new page for Mecklenburg County GIS (Geospatial Information Services). Check it out. The fifth annual GIS day will be at ImaginOn on Wednesday, November 16, from 9 am -3 pm.

Also take a look at an article from the Baltimore Sun about the new advances that the Internet has made possible in mapping.

Internet maps a new direction

Technology brings geographic, geologic information to all


So What's in your Wiki?

If you've ever had a plane change at the airport in Honolulu then you might associate the term "wiki" with the airport express shuttle bus (aka the Wiki Wiki Bus). The term 'wiki' is a Hawaiian word that means "quick" or "fast" and in recent years has also taken on new meaning in the tech world to describe collaborative software (or web environment) that allows users to create, edit and share information.

If you're interested in finding out more about wikis, then pop on over the the most recent post on the new PLCMC Core Competency Blog (designed to assist front line staff with technology as they relate to CCs)

Note: The CC blog is still undergoing development, but will be shared with all staff soon.

Changing the way we catalog Short Stories

I would really like to see us change our cataloging of our short stories. I think we are really limiting our circ of this genre by putting them in non-fiction. What are your thoughts?


Googlism 2015

Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't seem to venture anywhere these days in cyberspace without touching on Google territory. Google catalogs news feeds, searches blogs, provides email alerts, displays detailed statelite images of your home address and can even find your lost car keys (well, not really... but I can't image that it's too far off). So, what's next? What does the future hold for Google, Microsoft and other news media giants?

Take 8 minutes to view this perspective of what the information universe may look like in 2015...

2015 : Musuem of Media History

Does this scare you or excite you?

PS: Thanks Lori Reed for forwarding this link.

New Map - Normative Data Project for Libraries from Sirsi -Cool!

Check out an interactive Google map of Libraries affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita created by former University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science Professor Bob Molyneux and his colleagues at Sirsi. It uses the Normative Data Project for Libraries from Sirsi and info from the GeoLib project.

Public Libraries Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Take a look at the project as a whole at The goal of the Normative Data Project for Libraries (NDP) is to compile transaction-level data from libraries throughout North America; to link library data with geographic, demographic, and other key types of data; and, thereby, to empower library decision-makers to compare and contrast their institutions with real-world industry norms on circulation, collections, finances, and other parameters.

Do you think this could be a valuable project? Take a look at which libraries are participating so far.


Back In Business

With the new found interest in exploring uses for blogs, I'm rejuvenating this blog that I started over a year ago with the purpose of exploring and generating thought and discussion about technology changes that may affect libraries. Please jump on board with me with this new approach by either:
  1. posting a reply to an item of intetrest
  2. trying it out and setting up a blog yourself
    ( if free and easy to use)
  3. becoming a regular contributor to this blog (just email me if you're interested).

Actually, my preference is that you will try (and do) all three!!

PS: Thanks Chris for being the very 1st contributor last fall :)

Google? Amazon? New models introduced for electronic access

It was just about a year ago that google introduced it's controversial Print Search (Google Print) service and jumped into the electronic publishing race with Amazon. From this recent article in the NY Times, it looks the competition is growing fiercer...

Want 'War and Peace' Online? How About 20 Pages at a Time?
Edward Wyatt, NY Times, 11.04.05

How do think Libraries might be affected by these developments, especially as more and more books (especially reference) move to digital formats?