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Archive | IL2009

Library 101 Launches

The Connecting Through Lights, Cameras & Action session started with Allen County (Fort Wayne, Indiana) public library’s Sean Robinson showing a video he made, called Vade Mecum, about a woman becoming engrossed in a book by Amy Tan. It has a happy ending.

Next up is Michael Porter and David Lee King showing their Library 101 video. They’ve got a Facebook page for Library 101 that has 1800 fans from 17 different countries. Over 6000 images were submitted. They want this to be an example of what librarians can do with little effort and minor money. Pretty amazing rock video. Check out and Lyrics are on the libraryman site.

List of resources with 101 links. 101 resources and things to know(RTK). Asking for comments. Essays on library 101 from 23 people, asking people to add essays to the site. Community building exercise. The hashtag is #library101. Michael asks audience to tweet with that hashtag hoping to make it a trending topic. Now the audience is taking turns for their second of fame in front of the green screen as they “want u 2 know”. You’ll probably see some of this in the next video, Library 201.

Marydee Ojala, Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

Open Access Alternatives to A&I Databases

How to function in tough times was certainly a major theme at the conference. And the ideas and tips from many presenters were well received by the many librarians struggling to cope with tighter budgets and restrictions of all kinds. Peter Jasco, a well-known expert reviewer of abstracting and indexing databases gave his suggestions for sources that can be used as alternatives.

Peter noted that most librarians are reluctant to cut back on salaries, personnel, journals, etc., but a good option can be to cut back on subscriptions to indexing and abstracting services. “Make use of what you have and what is OPEN ACCESS.” He then announced that he would show how they could get free access to some 80 – 100 million articles.

Many databases from U.S. government agencies are available for free and offer a high percentage with abstracts, such as Agricola, ERIC, NTIS, PubMed, NCJRS, and others. No need to search these on expensive online services—go direct and save. Many associations, societies, and international organizations offer free abstracts, for some as the OA part of their fee-based digital archives. Some of the largest commercial publishers also offer huge OA subsets of bibliographic records and abstracts, including SpringerLink, Elsevier, Wiley, Sage, and many others.

Of the digital facilitators, HighWire Press is his personal favorite because of their free full-text articles. Others are MetaPress, Ingenta Connect, and Atypon. His facts, figures, and review comments were all quite compelling.

Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, Information Today, Inc.
Editor, NewsBreaks

Rockin Battle Decks: Dealing With Digital, Now and Beyond

Tuesday night was the first ever Internet Librarian “Battle Decks Spectacular”, and it drew a large crowd.  This was a contest in which 5 contestants had 7.5 minutes to give a presentation live and in real time based on 15 slides they saw for the first time. They were judged on these criteria:

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The contest requires poise, the ability to think quickly on your feet, a well developed sense of humor, and a breadth of expertise along with the ability to elucidate it.  This is not an easy contest, and all of the contestants richly deserved the acclaim they received from the audience.  After attending this session, all I could say was, “I’m glad it wasn’t me trying to do that!”

The Judges (L-R): Amanda Etches-Johnson, Aaron Schmidt, Jeff Wisnewski, Sara Houghton-Jan, and Laura Rogers (Timekeeper)

The Judges (L-R): Amanda Etches-Johnson, Aaron Schmidt, Jeff Wisnewski, Sara Houghton-Jan, and Lori Reed (Timekeeper)

The Contestants (L-R): Amy Buckland, Nancy Dowd, David Lee King, Michael Porter, and Greg Schwartz

The Contestants (L-R): Amy Buckland, Nancy Dowd, David Lee King, Michael Porter, and Greg Schwartz

Host:  Janie Hermann

Host: Janie Hermann

Along with a lot of humor, there were actually some useful and appropriate points raised, like these:

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Amy Buckland

  • Have you ever done a word cloud with your CV?
  • Cacti are prickly like some librarians!

David Lee King
(David was unique because he brought gifts to the judges–bottles of water!)

  • Customers want their answers, they don’t care how you work.
  • What changes with ubiquitous access? More power plugs! Batteries–when your battery dies you have NO access.
  • Does your website look like IKEA’s strategy–“some assembly required”?
  • We our customers to live in comfort and be comfortable searching our websites.
  • Who can teach people how to use stuff on the cloud?

Michael Porter
Michael Porter
  • We need to play and have fun.
  • We are setting the groundwork for ubiquitous computing in our libraries.
  • If we’re thoughtful now, we won’t let libraries die.  We cannot let “nobody cares” happen.
  • Don’t get caught up in “technolust”. Think about functionality–why are tools important?
  • If we stick to our core vision and values, we are going to be fine.

Nancy Dowd

Nancy Dowd

  • There is nobody that is not addicted to Twitter!
  • Stop thinking technology because it’s not the future. The future is in paper and books!
  • Sometimes social networking feels good; at other times you wish it could be turned off.

Greg Schwartz
Greg Schwartz
  • Piracy is not our enemy; libraries on lockdown cannot succeed in the digital world.
  • There is no wrong place to maintain your social networks!
  • You must not let your patrons freefall.
While the judges were selecting the winner, a musical interlude was provided by Richard Geiger and Tim DeWolf

While the judges were selecting the winner, a musical interlude was provided by Richard Geiger and Tim DeWolf

We also saw a video clip that Richard and Tim originally created for the 23Things session at a recent SLA conference.

The winner…

Janie Hermann presents the First Place prize to Amy Buckland

Janie Hermann presents the First Place prize to Amy Buckland

It was a great evening, not only entertaining but educational as well.  Let’s hope that this becomes a regular feature of IL conferences!

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and IL  2009 Blog Coordinator

Tools for Tough Times

Usage is up and funding is down. How to cope? The dynamic duo of Frank Cervone and Darlene Fichter offered some great suggestions. Here’s a brief summary.

Darlene says one of your super heroes in tough times is your web presence—your virtual presence matters more than ever, and it often doesn’t take much investment.

Bump up your Ask a Librarian service. Check out and

Frank says for situations where meebo doesn’t work, check out libraryh3lp. It’s a hosted service that provides functionality of a chat reference service with some additional functionality. It’s not free but fairly inexpensive.

Branches closed and programs cut? Look at how to deliver your library programs anywhere and save them for playback. Check out the free

Quintura has a widget you can embed in library page to create a special kids search feature.

To market without a budget, be more social and use social media sites – use Facebook, Google Gadget, Flickr badge, etc. There are a lot of channels to use that don’t cost money. Be omnipresent.

Invest in your digital presence, such as add/expand digital photo collections. Offload hosting and tools to support comments and tags (scan and add to Flikr Pro account for $25).

Google Analytics is the best web log tool for free. Add a snippet of code to each page. Get detailed statistics. Then use these to identify your best resources and put energy into building those.

Check out the free survey tools out there to help you get data. One is

To deal with travel  and training cuts, use Ustream for training.

TinyChat – use as a tool for quick meetings. Has public and private modes.

Check out the training offered at Some states subsidize this. is a new online presentation tool. Takes a while to learn.

Add functionality through freeplug-ins, especially great ones for FireFox.

Read it Later from the Idea Shower (

Add fresh headlines to your library’s site—

Save on software licenses. Shop around, switch to free (CutePDF).

Open source choices.

Is cloud computing for you?

Google Wave will be the future. It’s in private invite but keep an eye on it.

Paula J. Hane

ITI News Bureau Chief