Archive for September, 2007

I got to thinking last night about a widget. I’m wondering if it would be possible to create a browser plug-in or widget that would link ISBNs, etc. from online shopping sites like Amazon back to whatever public library you choose. It seems like it would work. Most libraries have their catalogs online these days, so I say why not?! It would be a great way to take advantage of stronger search engines and bring in new users who might say – “You mean I can borrow this DVD from the library for free??” I had more last night, but was engaged in trying to sleep off the icks – so I might come back and update this when I’m thinking better… Any thoughts?

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Well, here it is. I finally got this edited and posted to the web last week. Hear the teens and tweens of The Brookfield Public Library doing podcast theatre!

It looks like the site where I’m hosting the podcast is having problems…  Looks like I’ll be moving to a new place on Monday, but I’m not at work and I don’t want to work right now, so here’s a direct link.

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Yep, my first experience in a virtual world was on AOL.

So, come join me in my way-back machine and let’s head back to Arlington, TX in the year 1994. I had just purchased my first personal pc, hand built for me by my local Lucky Computers store. I was so excited! Not only was I graduating from my little Brother word processor for typing up all those term papers and articles, but now I would be able to use the Net every day.

Of course, my computer came with a free trial of AOL Online, so I signed up. I still remember sitting in my bedroom with my sister trying to pick out my username. I really loved Death from The Sandman series, but every combo I tried with her was taken. Somehow I ended up with velvet(because I loved the feel of velvet)boo(because I was being really silly). So, on AOL I became velvetboo – that username stuck with me for many, many years somehow…

I didn’t know too many other people at the time who had a personal computer, but I was ready to try out email and instant messaging right away. So I started looking for interest groups in AOL chat rooms, and ran across one for The Sandman comics series by Neil Gaiman. Well, of course, I was a huge fan (still am) so I wandered in and started chatting. That’s where it all began.

I met a lot of people, but one in particular became one of my best friends, and we are still great friends today. Even though we lived hundreds of miles apart, we were there for each other for ‘virtually’ everything life could throw at us. I soon moved on to ICQ chat, and a bigger, better computer, but that’s where it all started.

It’s so amazing how far things have come. Remember Commodores???

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Have it your way

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could im, email, call or walk in to a library and get what you want, the way you want it, right now?

Example: IM conversation

patron: hey, do you have any copies of to kill a mockingbird?

librarian: yes we have four copies on shelf right now. would you like to check out a copy today?

patron: yeah, but my car broke down so i can’t get there.

librarian: I can send you an mp3 of the audio book or an electronic text file right now. Of course, if you would rather have the book in hand or listen to it on cd’s I can put you on our home delivery list and it would get out to you in the next few days.

patron: cool i’ll take the e-text file.

This is happening in some places and in some ways, but what I envision is that if a library owns say four copies of To Kill a Mockingbird they are allowed to handout those copies in any format – meaning whatever format is preferable to the patron. If all four copies were checked out they could go into their system and find another library that has a copy on the shelf, stake dibs on one, and offer it to the patron right away in mp3 or e-text format, possibly even as a cd-r if it was cost effective. No more waiting for it to come in through ILL. Maybe this is happening already, but if so it should be happening everywhere!

Just a thought.

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I had quite a shock yesterday. For those of you who work with Innovative – Millenium – Milcirc or whatever you might call it this will be easy to understand, and I’ll try to explain it as best as I can for everyone else.

I’m finishing my degree at Dominican this Fall and taking my last two classes. One is this class, Library 2.0, and the other is Collection Development. Now I have no problem buying my books, but I already have several at home that I will never look at again. So, I decided to check out my Collection Development textbook through the library. I got my copy, but unfortunately it was due back before the syllabus came out, and I had to return it as another patron had a hold on it so I could not renew it. I thought, no problem I’ll just put another hold on it and the next one which is due back 9/4 will come my way with plenty of time to read whatever I might need to read. Well, yesterday I realized I should have had it a week ago. I looked at my record to find out where it was, and there I saw the most horrible thing.

Someone had altered my hold. I thought I must have missed something so I went to the title record, but it did not list my system wide hold. Of the three books due back my hold had been changed to an item level hold on the one due back last – 9/25. This won’t leave me enough time to get the book back and read it before class on 9/29, and that would only be if they actually returned it on time… I was shocked. A fellow student – another librarian (possibly more than one!) had performed this diabolical act. I am now going to have to find the $60 to purchase the book, and hope I can get it in time.

After looking through all the title records and figuring in when I had returned my copy so the person who had the hold could get it , I am certain of who it is that performed this deed. Yes, I know the name of the person. I’m not going to mention it here, but I know. There was a second book that was due back soon after that (around 9/11), and that one should also have come to me, but I can’t be sure if I was shuffled from one to another by a second person, who also shall not be named, or if it just so happens that the first person put my hold on the third book after it had been checked out by its current holder.

I had the ability to do exactly the same thing, or I could have simply held on to the book and dismissed my fines when I finally returned it, but instead I did the right thing. A fellow librarian and classmate has snubbed and insulted me. I won’t soon forget this.

If you’re reading this, you know who you are, and I hope you will develop a better sense of ethics before you graduate. Know that if I am ever assigned to do group work with you, I can assure you I will discuss this situation with the professor and ask to be moved to another group. It’s amazing to me what small acts come to shape who a person is.

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Hi, my name’s Nicole and I’m a youth/teen librarian at Brookfield Public Library – located in a southwest suburb of Chicago. (It’s right by the zoo!! One day I’m gonna skip out and go hang with the snow leopards – you just watch me.) I live on the North side of the city so that makes for some long commutes, but it’s worth it. I really love what I do there. Just today I had a baby storytime and a toddler storytime about monkeys. There was lots of singing, good stories, of course, and even dancing! I also did my typical pre-program marketing for upcoming teen events. Yesterday was the first Fall rehearsal of The Pod Squad – that’s a theatre group I started this summer with the teens. We do podcast theatre. Stay tuned cause I just got through editing our live summer performance, and it’ll be on the web soon. Why did I start a podcast theatre group you ask? I got theatre in my blood! No, seriously I do. Before my trek into librarianship I took my MFA in Design and Technology to the streets working as a freelance costume designer and I still do design when I can, but I prefer the low-stress full-time work with benefits gig for the every. Anyway, so that’s a little about me.

Now, what am I hoping to get out of this class? Practical ways to use Library 2.0 every day. I have all these ideas and keeping up with all the new tools can be mind boggling some days, but I’d like to learn about ways people are using it in their libraries. I’m also interested in finding parallels out in the rest of the world to possibilities for the world of libraries. I’m not sure if that’s clear, but basically I want to see how we can make libraries work like Limewire or other P2P apps, and everything else… I’m extremely interested in seeing the library world embrace the open-source movement. We can save our taxpayers money for other needs and provide more services at the same time. Let’s do that. Oh yes, and I shouldn’t forget to mention social networking sites – I know my teens all use them, and I’ve started reaching them there and then MySpace shut down my page… Anyway, I’d like to explore ways to use sites like MySpace to reach the teens or others who aren’t already using the library.

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Hello world!

To blog or not to blog? Well, here we go again. It’s been a while since my diary-keeping days on LiveJournal when as much as a year passed between posts. I recently checked and that old blog is still there, but I’m not helping you find it! I can’t believe some of the things that I felt I should share with the world… Anyway, I’ve been a little more regular on MySpace (at least when I’m not super-busy girl…), but I guess this is to be my first ‘official’ blog – or at least one that I hope will be of interest to someone other than me and my diary. 🙂 So, here’s to blogging and Library 2.0!

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