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


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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