Links of Interest for LI835

This weekend I have the good fortune to make a short appearance in a library and information science class for Emporia State University.  It has been at least two years since I had an LIS class, and the chance to peek at the discussion boards reminded me of all the conversation, collaboration, and sharing that one enjoys when in a class.  We haven’t even met yet but I have already learned a lot from the collegial, professional students of LI835. I’m hoping the links below might be interesting or eye-opening or useful as they continue to tackle very important issues in librarianship.

Assessment — Mortenson Center Newsletters

For an entirely different demonstration of assessment, take a look at the semiannual newsletters from the Mortenson Center.  Instead of numbers, charts or graphs, the newsletter reports on the Center’s activities in a narrative, people-focused style.  The collection of newsletters then become something like an accessible, digestible mini annual report.  They also function as a wonderfully convenient and searchable archive of the Center’s history – something I have wished for in every library I have ever worked in.

Info Literacy — UIUC Scholarly Commons / Savvy Researcher Series

Library Workshops –

Scholarly Commons –

A creative approach to the stand-by library workshops – this regular series offers topics directly relevant to faculty, graduate students, and highly motivated undergrads.  These patrons are, after all, the primary audience for such optional extracurricular resources.  The information about authors’ rights also ties in closely with the university’s impressive institutional repository: which is also based out of the library.

Future of Higher Ed — Online Education

Chronicle piece:

Paul LeBlanc’s white paper (mentioned in Chronicle article above):

With both adamant fans and avid critics, the Khan Academy has been mentioned in many conversations about the potential direction of higher education.  Paul LeBlanc imagines a future in which the university is primarily a testing and accrediting institution, with much of the instruction and learning becoming an individual, independent endeavor of the students themselves. If LeBlanc is even partially right, what does that mean for the future academic library?

Myth of the “Digital Native”

Wired: Why Kids Can’t Search –

Open University exploding the myth:

Social Media and the Myth:

I will readily admit that this speaks to a personal pet peeve of mine:  using “generations” as an excuse for stereotypes.  I have done tech training to people of various ages, from various countries and cultures and all stereotypes – no matter what they might be based on – are just that, stereotypes.  Not valid. Not reliable.  Not true.  Some of the most enthusiastic participants in my iPad workshops have been older than me and some of the most hesitant have been younger.  Age does not correlate to any tech skill whatsoever.  Likewise, age also does not correlate to a deficiency of skill.  We do our patrons a severe injustice when we make assumptions about them — the “digital native” myth is just another example of that.

Reaching Students with Social Media:

Green Library, Stanford –

  • some likes and comments

Swem Library, College of William and Mary –

  • lots of individual likes, note the “Watch out for zombies!”

UIUC Undergrad Library –

  • the page itself has over 600 likes, but none of the posts have likes or comments from students

Should we use social media to eavesdrop?  Set up a search in HootSuite, for example, for any mention of your university or library?

Social media has to be personal.  Canned material won’t cut it. Allowing the library’s social media presence to be funny and have a personality will be far more successful.  For example:  when we change the status message on our chat widget, we get more chat questions.

Just For Fun

TitanPad –

create a free collaborative notepad by starting a “pad” and sharing your unique link with your team or audience; see the notes appear before your very eyes!

Connect to KU –

a great demonstration of centralizing information about a university’s social presence online

If This Then That –

web workflows for dummies!  I love that you don’t have to know any code, just put pieces where you want them. I have one set up to send my twitter favorites to an Evernote notebook automatically.

Best Betas from Gary Price at Internet Librarian –

some great stuff to play with, including apps, search engines, videos and more

Google Art Project –

get a close up view of paintings, sketches and tours of the museums that house them

My Diigo Bookmarks –

no promises at all for consistency or usefulness 🙂


Nooks and Crannies

Some people really enjoy the research part of a paper, while others live for the writing part.  I am definitely of the former, and my little joys of late have been the interesting discoveries of obscure library journals that weren’t published for very long but had great articles during their short lifespans.  Tonight’s example is Library Consortium Management: an international journal.  LCM only had 8 issues, from 1999 to 2000, but these few small issues are teaching me incredible things about library consortia!  For example, I’m reading an article about the stages of development for library networks – when they go from simply purchasing shared resources to being “incorporated” and the consortia becomes a body of its own outside of the individual libraries.  I automatically think of the Orbis-Cascade Alliance from my previous life.  The member libraries were from universities and colleges across the Pacific Northwest, but the consortia had its own little office and even staff to handle all the administrative aspects of making sure things went smoothly for the libraries.  This is exactly the kind of thing I hope to chart out in my paper.

Word of the day: Cooperations

I seem to have found at least one solution to my search term problem of yesterday — “library cooperations” or at least that was the catch phrase in the 80s.  I’m not sure if it’s really still used in the literature today, but I have the beginnings of a bread crumb trail now.  I discovered a couple shelves full of the stuff in the 021.64 area of the Library Science Library (ha! … sounds like something out of that new show Pushing Daisies, like the Darling Mermaid Darlings).

I’m a little worried that most of the material I’ve found so far is rather dated.  I only have a few things from the 90s and nothing from the Aughts.  Hmmm…

Libraries in plural

A group of librarians is called a “shush”… believe it or not… but what about a group of libraries? A shushtette?

My goal for this Independent Study as I laid it out in the proposal was to survey the literature regarding international library partnerships and/or “sister library” programs to see how the partnerships were measured in terms of success or benefit for the member libraries. I envisioned a beautiful, well-organized table of information about all the partnerships I could find, with fields describing the type of libraries involved (public, school, academic…), how long they had worked together, what they shared in the partnership, which countries were represented and so on.

I did not take into account the role that library associations might play in these partnerships. My initials searches through the databases have turned up articles about professional associations, libraries partnered with businesses, libraries and the digital divide, but very little about international library partnerships in the sense that I’m hoping to find. Lots of information about digital libraries and libraries getting networked in the technical, online way. Every once in awhile I’ll find “library network” describing a consortia – bingo! But these are few and far between.

Which leads me to wonder if I should adjust the scope of my topic… are today’s library consorita primarily digital partnerships? What are these library partnerships calling themselves? Hmph.


The verb “to renew” has a few different meanings, especially for library folk.  Renewing a magazine subscription vs. renewing your library books.  Or perhaps a renewal can be likened to a renaissance … re-new vs. re-born.

However you interpret this word, I am going to “renew” this Librarienne blog by using it to track my progress through an Independent Study class for my library science degree.  As I am beginning this Independent Study very late in the semester, I have a lot of work to catch up on.  As this is a blog, I’ll be very frank about my observations.  For starters, using my university’s library is a depressing and demoralizing experience.  To truly describe the experience, I’ll have to create a Flickr slideshow that illustrates everything.  You really have to see it to believe it.  For the full effect, you have to be there… but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Next post: just what am I doing in this Independent Study?

A change is a-brewing

Almost one week since ALA’s annual conference ended and I’m just now catching up to some ALA-related posts that I’ve been meaning to put here.   Before I go on to more session-specific postings, however, I wanted to write about the most important element of ALA and, for that matter, any conference:  the people.

My primary mission at the conference was to meet my fellow library folk, talk to them, find out what was buzzing through L-y-wood, and this mission was fulfilled beyond my expectations.  The most exciting part was finding out how many people were feeling the same way I did – that something’s gotta change.

To all the fresh new library students, librarians, library staff out there who are asking themselves “is this all there is?” please allow me to introduce you to some restless natives, of all ages, who are ready to get the New Librarian Party started:

Karin Dalziel, librarian and artist, as well as the creator of where library students can get together and compare notes.  Just before the conference she had a great post about marketing in libraries, which hits at one of our biggest issues.

Cindi Trainor, techie librarian, blogger, mama, and model.  Cindi wrote about change in libraries and how we need to, you know … do it already!

Nathan Bomer talked me into the Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. lecture, for which I am very grateful.  He’s also musing on the state of ALA and what we can do about it.

I met Michelle Boule at the OCLC Blogger’s Salon.  She did a great job on the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase, which has been lauded across the blogosphere several times over.

Forward thinkers like these can be found in droves at some great wiki spaces such as Improve ALA and Library Society of the World.   But if this desire for change is going to go anywhere, we need to get together and really start throwing some ideas around.  These wikis are great places to start and I’ll be keeping tabs on both of them.  Hopefully we can all have our own little New Librarian Party organized in time for Midwinter … whaddya say?