ALA TechSource Logo


curve Home spacer Publications spacer Subscribe spacer Blog spacer About  

Blog posts from September 2008

In the Hub - The Information Commons at University of Kentucky

Submitted by Michael Stephens on September 29, 2008 - 12:03pm

During the past few months, I've explored various in carnations of the student-centered learning and technology commons. I'm pleased to see this trend in academic libraries gaining more and more ground. We visited the IU South Bend Commons last time, an example of a smaller university library thinking big and applying the same concepts and strategies for student space and making it work. On a wind swept, rainy day last April, I toured the inviting Information Commons at Loyola University, where community, collaboration and connectivity guided the student- centered space. And this summer while in Georgia, we visited the Georgia Tech Library Learning Commons that features spaces and technologies to enable all types of student, faculty and staff interaction.

There's one more stop - and sadly, I haven't visited this outstanding example of student  space in person but via the photos shared on Flickr. So I emailed Stacey Greenwell, Head of the Information Commons (The Hub) at the University of Kentucky to find out more about the incredible spaces and help desk I'd seen on Flickr. She obliged with this detailed interview: Read More »

On The Internet and the New Dark Age

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on September 23, 2008 - 2:38pm

There’s been an interesting discussion going on lately about the Internet. Some leading thinkers and scholars have postulated that for all the convenience and expediency that society gets from the Internet, we may actually be surfing ourselves into a new Dark Age. While this idea has been discussed quietly in bars, coffee shops and at dinner tables for some time now, the public debate really took off with this recent article Nicholas Carr did in The Atlantic Monthly.

  Read More »

The Kindle's Impact on the Book Publishing Industry

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on September 19, 2008 - 10:48am

New York Magazine has been providing some fantastic coverage of the changes in the book publishing industry that Jason is discussing. In a fantastic series on the current state of book publishing, they are pondering whether current trends could spell doom for the entire industry, but also covering the different ways that publishers are trying to re-invent themselves.


I <3 my Kindle

Submitted by Jason Griffey on September 18, 2008 - 3:05am

In the past year or so, there has been considerable discussion here in libraryland about ebook readers. Still, the actual personal ownership of them is still reasonably low. So we don't have a lot of actual user feedback on how people like the devices, what they find useful, and what users really experience when reading on one. I thought I'd make an attempt to remedy that as much as one person on one blog can. Read More »

SOPAC for the Smaller Set

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on September 15, 2008 - 9:48am

The Darien Library’s new website and SOPAC 2.0 have been live for just over a week, during which time we staffers have had a chance to reflect on our wonderful new online presence. John Blyberg offers a thorough explanation of the technical details at his blog. The impact of SOPAC on the larger library world has been under exploration by much of the biblioblogosphere. Behind the scenes, it's been just as exciting.

The transition to a new website can be a major undertaking for any library. Even if your previous website is terrible, staff are used to it. Like a family trying to sell their house, librarians and webmasters don’t see their own clutter, poor layouts or lousy artwork. However, like a new house, a new site is an opportunity to start fresh, to pick new paint and claim a new room to set up just the way you like.

  Read More »

Posted in

Meeting Technologies

Submitted by Tom Peters on September 11, 2008 - 12:51pm

How many meetings do you think occur every weekday in the United States involving staff members from libraries and library-related organizations? For our purposes, let’s define a meeting as a real-time interaction between three or more people for a stated purpose. Two people have a conversation; three or more people have a meeting. I realize that excludes two-person meetings like annual performance meetings and that some library-related meetings occur on weekends but the definition above will keep things in this context neat, clean and clear.

According to ALA calculations there are roughly 123,000 libraries in the U.S. Many of those are one-person libraries, so we can estimate that on each working day there are approximately 100,000 meetings involving librarians and library staff. Of course, at large libraries the number of daily meetings will be high. With approximately 250 workdays in a year, that yields an annual estimate of 25 million library-related meetings in the U.S. alone. Read More »

Posted in

The Space had to say "Wow!" - The Hammes Information Commons at IUSB

Submitted by Michael Stephens on September 3, 2008 - 9:52am

On the new commons, Michelle Russo, Dean of Library Services at the Franklin D. Schurz Library at Indiana University South Bend, states:

To send the message that this was a welcoming place, the wall separating the room from the lobby was removed. The stacks were turned 90? which allowed natural light to flow from the windows between the aisles to the center of the room.

The new service desk was also designed to send a welcoming message. It allows space for librarians, IT consultants, and multimedia specialists to work at one of two levels. The counter-height level allows service to people as they walk into the Commons, while the lower desk-height permits one to work at eye level with students in a wheelchair or with those who want to be seated as they receive more in-depth assistance. Read More »

Posted in

Hot Games for Fall 2008

Submitted by Jason Griffey on September 2, 2008 - 11:20am

As we crawl towards the Christmas season, all of the major video game manufacturers are starting to bring out the big guns for the holidays. If your library has embraced gaming as a way of socializing with patrons or drawing people in, what are they likely to be looking forward to this Fall? Or if your library actually checks out games, what's going to be the hot ones for the next 4 months? Here's a few titles to watch out for... Read More »