Donate A Book Day in April

Later this month the first Donate-A-Book day will take place at libraries around the country.

On April 14, readers across the U.S. will be encouraged to donate new or gently used books to their local libraries. Books will be added to the library’s collections, with remaining books given to the Friends of the Library, for use at their annual booksale fundraisers.

For more info please read the press release and get those books ready for donation (I know I have a few I’ve been waiting to get over to the library … now I have an excuse :) )

CIL11: Learning from Inspirational Libraries

Marshall Breeding was up this morning talking to us about learning from libraries he’s visited around the world! I don’t see Marshall’s slides online yet, but I hope to find them sometime because he has a ton of awesome pictures in them to share with us all.

First up, in 2007 Marshall visited Yonsei University library in Seoul, Korea. Marshall feels that they have done everything they could with technology. This library kept one library with all of the books, and built another library with technology and unique spaces. If ever there was a building that embraced web 2.0, this is that library. Marshall showed us pictures of large touch screen monitors that people walked up to get directions in the library and/or search the library catalog. They also had a touch screen monitor with a note board – meaning people left notes for each other on this monitor using the app installed and then came and picked them up at the library.

Next up DOK in Delft (which we’ve all probably heard about for their awesome innovations). Lots of awesome spaces in this library. The children’s room is for the children to do as they wish, there are gaming areas in the library and a bunch of awesome architecture. One of the cool pieces of furniture in the library is a pod chair where you have a monitor and speakers and can watch a movie without others around you hearing it. At DOK they built their own ILS because they couldn’t find another one out there that was as innovative as they are.

In Sidney, Marshall visited the Customs House Library. The circ desk in this library is really pretty and unique looking. The building on the outside looks a bit like a historic building, but inside it looks modern and clean. One innovative thing they had was an interactive art exhibit that changed from time to time.

National and University Library in Slavania is up next. This library was built over a 150 years ago and is gorgeous, but difficult to fit a library in to.

The British Library is one of the most advanced libraries in the world. They are very innovative in their uses of technology – pushing the limits of what any platform can do. They have showcased the original collection from the library in a gorgeous glass case that looks like it spans floors. The British Library still holds on to the library as quiet place kind of atmosphere (which is something I sorely miss).

The Library of Congress Culpeper facility focuses on digital preservation. Marshall talked about the fact that they innovated new technologies to get movies out of the paper that the film was wrapped in – the film had disintegrated, but the paper held on to some of the images.

Next on to Argentina. The picture of this library looks like it couldn’t possibly stand up … pretty awesome looking. The library itself looked awesome, but their technology isn’t really state of the art and they still have piles of library cards that have to be entered into their automated library system.

Next up the libraries in Medellin. They offer library services in the metro stations where you can drop off and pick up book on your way to and from work.

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Add Free Ebooks to your Catalog

This came across a few lists I’m on today and I thought it would be beneficial to some of you. Using the file that some Colorado Libraries have created you can import a batch of freely available ebook classics to your system. More info here:

The Colorado Library Consortium created a project to clean up the most popular MARC records from Project Gutenberg called eDiscover the Classics. We identified the top 500 or so downloads and cleaned up those records and made them available to other libraries. We launched the website a few weeks at:

Since that time the records have been further enhancements by Douglas County Libraries and University of Denver. If you have already downloaded the MARC records we encourage you to get the new set of records and reload them into your catalog. Here is a link explaining our clean-up efforts:

Please consider these MARC records a gift to the library community! The more patrons think of libraries as a source for content for their Kindles, Nooks, IPads, MP3 players, etc – the better!

Valerie Horton

You must earn your place in communities

I’m reading ‘Trust Agents‘ by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith right now and I have to say I’m learning a lot! One part that I feel bears repeating here (that I didn’t learn from the book – but from real life) is about joining communities – the right way.

I think the following quote from the book applies to many of the things I teach librarians (social networking, web 2.0 and of course open source), and while it focuses on business, it applies very much to us as well.

Simply too many companies attempt to jump into the fray on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and immediately endeavor to peddle their wares. They don’t realize that we all know each other, that we recognize the new stranger in our midst and that we are feeling “marketed to” long before we’ve been properly introduced. 1

As I stated before, even though this mentions specific networks, it applies just as equally to open source networks/communities.

Earlier in the book, Chris and Julien talk about how companies (and libraries) can screw up when joining or participating in an existing community – and how to fix it!

In most cases, the way to fix misunderstandings and earn back respect requires asserting the appropriate combination of deference, respect, and humility. If you are genuine in your efforts, the next step after realizing that the community has pushed back is to apologize. Even if you feel you’re in the right, stat by saying, “I’m sorry.” Next, be humble and learn what the community is teaching … The most important element is a consistent stream of communication back to the “wronged” individuals in the community. 2

And to that I’d add a quote from Wikinomics by Dan Tascott and Anthony Williams:

Critiquing the community is a right reserved for those who have proved themselves by making valuable contributions.3.

As library professionals we often stick to reading/studying things specifically geared to us, but I find it often helpful to branch out and read books that have been categorized as ‘business’ books because we can learn just as much from them. As I finish reading ‘Trust Agents’ I may have more to share with you all.

1. Brogan, Chris, and Julien Smith. “You must earn your place in communities.” In Trust Agents, 106-108. Rev Upd. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2010.
2.———. “How to screw up (and how to fix it).” In Trust Agents, 100-101. Rev Upd. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2010.
3. Tapscott, Don, and Anthony D. Williams. “Embracing open source culture and strategy.” In Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything, 82-83. Expanded Edition. New York, NY: Penguin USA, 2008.

New Librarian Q&A Site

I received an email the other day about a proposal for a new Q&A site for librarians to communicate with each other. The explanation I got was:

Stack Exchange was previously a paid service that was changed to free, and this Libraries proposal is based on an existing site operating on the old platform called Unshelved Answers. (It was created by the people behind the Unshelved library comic strip.) The existing site has a whole range of questions about things like policies, programming, software and other tools. There are a bunch of interesting questions trying to figure out book titles from snippets of plots and other book details. All of the user content on the site is licensed under a Creative Commons license and will probably be imported into the new site if it succeeds in getting enough people to sign up.

It took me a little while to understand the point of the site, but I think I finally get it! Basically librarians would sign up and post questions and answers to their colleagues on topics such as policies, technologies, or general fun things like ‘what are you reading?’ I see a great potential to build a knowledge base using this tool and it seems like something you’d all be interested in maybe signing up for.

Right now the site is in the vote gathering phase. This means that we need the commitment of 100% (but I can’t find how many votes will equal that percentage). If you’d like to see the proposal and possibly commit to it, you can do so at this site.

No more “Cookery”

Oh no! What example will I use when I talk about tagging? This came across AUTOCAT yesterday:

Subject Headings for Cooking and Cookbooks
June 22, 2010

The Library of Congress issued the list of the new and revised subject headings for materials on cooking and cookbooks on June 22, 2010 ( These new and revised headings will be distributed beginning with the CDS distribution file vol. 25, issue 24 dated June 14 and will continue until completed. The revision of Subject Headings Manual (SHM) H 1475, “Cooking and Cookbooks,” is forthcoming and will be posted as a PDF file on the public Cataloging and Acquisitions Web site ( ). It will also be included in SHM Update Number 2 of 2010, which will be distributed in the fall.

The word “cookery” has been changed to “cooking” in approximately 800 subject headings (e.g., Cooking, Cooking (Butter), Cooking for the sick, Aztec cooking, Cooking, American–Southwestern style).

A topical subject heading for Cookbooks and a genre/form heading for Cookbooks have also been approved, and are available for use.

Most of the Children’s Subject Headings in the form Cookery–[Ingredient] have been cancelled in favor of the adult heading Cooking ([Ingredient]). However, three of those headings have been retained and revised: Cooking (Buffets), Cooking (Garnishes), and Cooking (Natural foods).

In cases where reference structure for a heading has been changed but the heading itself has not, the heading was omitted from the list. For example, the headings Brunches, Comfort food, and Tortillas had the broader term Cookery, which has been changed to Cooking. None of these three headings appear on the Weekly List. The references on approximately 500 headings have been changed.

Every effort will be taken to expeditiously change the old form of subject headings in bibliographic records to the new form during the next few months.

Questions or concerns may be directed to:
Libby Dechman
Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist

How cool is that? Well probably not that cool to non-catalogers, but it’s cool to me :) I love seeing changes like this.

Survey about Twitter Usage in Libraries

This message came across one of my mailing lists and I thought I should share with any of you out thee using Twitter in your libraries. Note that Lina does want only one respondent per library, so make sure you coordinate with your colleagues.

I’m a LIS student and need your support for my diploma thesis.

I have created a survey about your library’s Twitter profile to compare German and US library Twitter profiles. Target group of the survey are all employees of all kinds of libraries who twitter for their library.

Please start the survey here:

(Just one attendance per library)

Answering completely may take about 15 minutes or even faster, most questions can be answered by checkboxes.

Thanks for your help!

Lina Egle
Cologne University of Applied Sciences

TCLC Transforming the Library

I was asked to talk about open source, Koha, and Library Mashups at the TCLC spring meeting in PA today. But before I gave my talks, I got to listen to Nancy Magnuson give a keynote address on Transforming the Library.

TCLC Spring Meeting

Nancy talked to us about the transformation of the Goucher Athenaeum in Baltimore. This Athenaeum was decided to be the intellectual center of the campus. In fact they put it right smack in the center of the campus. The old building was a boring circ 1950 square building that they had grown out of. The new Athenaeum was 102,000 sq feet and the library is 72,000 sq feet of that. The building also houses the art gallery, a cafe, a community service center and exercise loft. The building itself is 4 stories and covered in walls of glass which is awesome!!

Inside the library the walls and shelves are painted in bright friendly colors. There is also a great meeting area in the center that doesn’t look like an empty lecture hall when no one is there, but can be used for social events, lectures, and even exercise groups. In the student interviews, one of the students said it was both a great social and work environment at the same time. In addition to the public areas, they were now able to work more efficiently with their special collections. They have a large reading room and display cabinets. They also have a work room where they can work with their special collection materials – something they didn’t have before.

One of the things I like the most about this renovation is all of the green aspects. They have water and energy saving measures in place – most of these aren’t that unique – pretty much what we’ve all heard of in other arenas. The one really unique and cool things is the rain garden.

The students and librarians alike think that this transformation has changed the way people interact on campus. Because the library is now in the center of campus, open 24 hours, and has a 24/7 cafe, the building has become a social hub on campus.

Major NJ Library Budget Cuts

I am a Pennsylvania librarian – but I do a ton of work in New Jersey and work very closely with NJ librarians and it is for this reason that I feel a need to spread the word of some very bad news NJ received yesterday. First, the announcement (links added by me):

TO: Library Directors
FROM: Norma E. Blake, State Librarian
SUBJECT: 2011 Budget
DATE: March 17, 2010

Yesterday we became aware through Treasury budget documents that it is proposed that Thomas Edison State College and the New Jersey State Library will be merged with the New Jersey State Museum and governed by Rutgers University starting July 1, 2010.

In addition:

  • Libraries lost $1.449 million (all) of NJKI (databases including RefUSA, Business Source Premiere, and Academic Search Premiere).

  • $4.299 million (all) in Network Aid (including Regions and Statewide Services, such as delivery, databases, interlibrary loan and continuing education.)
  • $1.170 million (all) in virtual aid (databases and the public library JerseyConnect Technology System).
  • $3.5 million in Per Capita State Aid (leaving $3.676 million)
  • Libraries have lost 74% in library program funding from the FY 2010 appropriation which is unprecedented and disproportionate to other Departments’ losses.

If these cuts remain once the budget is passed in June, an unintended consequence would be the loss of $4.5 million in federal funds. Also, if the cut to JerseyConnect is maintained, the State Library cannot accept the $7.5 million Broadband funds if awarded by NJIA.

The State Library is talking to the New Jersey Library Association about our concerns regarding the loss of federal money and services to libraries like delivery, databases, interlibrary loan, Per Capita State Aid and JerseyConnect.

We will communicate again with you as soon as we know what action is needed.

There are so many areas of this I can focus on, but I want to bring one thing to everyone’s attention that may not be clear. In the announcement there is a mention to the cuts in ‘Regions.’ What does this mean? NJ has these awesome cooperatives for the four regions in the state. Each of these groups offers services to libraries like cooperative buying benefits and professional development. This is something we don’t have in PA, and something I always talk about when mentioning continuing education for librarians.

One of the complaints I have about librarianship is that it’s a profession without required continuing ed. For a lawyer to stay licensed he has to attend classes and stay up to things, the same with accountants, insurance salespeople, etc – why not librarians. That said, NJ was offering free and low cost continuing ed to their librarians and that made me so proud – both of the state and of the librarians who attended these classes even though they weren’t required.

Now, the state is looking at cutting all of these programs. So not only are they hurting their community by limiting the resources libraries can offer they are also stunting the education available to their librarians … seems like a lose lose situation for NJ citizens and librarians alike.

This is a story I’ll be keeping an eye on and one that I hope resolves itself in a way that doesn’t hurt so many New Jersey residents.